Russian-Backed TV Network's Production Company Registers as Foreign Agent

| NOV 13, 2017 | 10:14 PM Commons

Following suspicions that RT, formerly known as Russia Today, acted on the Kremlin's behalf to influence the 2016 election, T&R Productions, the broadcast network's parent company, registered with the U.S. Department of Justice as a foreign agent on Monday.

After filing under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, the network must disclose relationships and activities, presumably on behalf of Russia, to the Justice Department. The network's filing, however, didn't limit its ability to publish certain materials or viewpoints but did require RT to label informational materials and broadcasts appropriately.

“Americans have a right to know who is acting in the United States to influence the U.S. government or public on behalf of foreign principals,” Dana Boente, acting assistant attorney general for national security, said.

Just last month, social media giant Twitter announced it would off-board ads from RT and another outlet — Sputnik — based on the U.S. intelligence community's claim that both outlets acted on behalf of the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 election.

Russian officials, according to The Daily Beast, accused the U.S. of pressuring RT into Monday's filing. The Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., similarly alleged that the U.S. threatened to arrest RT staff and freeze the network's bank accounts.