Assistant city attorney who backed Putin on TV is fired, partly for 'poor fit'

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An assistant city attorney in Milwaukee was fired Monday after supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Russian-controlled Russia Today TV.

Jennifer DeMaster’s termination notice cited “job performance” and “poor fit” as the reason for her firing, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. A second assistant city attorney was also fired, but the termination notice listed only “job performance” as the reason.

Both attorneys were on probationary status after being hired last year to fill vacancies caused by an exodus of attorneys from the office of City Attorney Tearman Spencer, who was elected in April 2020. Some lawyers who left cited a “toxic work environment,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

DeMaster drew criticism for her TV appearance and for her past work as a legal analyst for the Clarion Project, deemed “a major proponent of Islamophobia” by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. She also wrote a book arguing that Islam is not a peaceful religion and worked on Sharia law issues as a law clerk for the American Center for Law and Justice.

In her appearance on Russia Today TV, DeMaster argued that Putin was within his rights to recognize the breakaway Ukraine regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

DeMaster argued that there was no violation of international law because world leaders criticizing the move “cannot name an international law that this violates.” She also said the Russian invasion posed no threat to U.S. national security.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a statement the decision to fire DeMaster is welcome but long overdue.

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