Skip to content

During Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing, Former Ambassadors, General Echo Shaheen’s Concerns Regarding RT News, Russia’s Propaganda Efforts

**Shaheen has introduced bipartisan legislation to give the DOJ new authority to investigate Russia propaganda outlet, RT News**

**Ambassador Vershbow calls RT News “an arm of the Russian government, de facto if not de jure”**

Watch Here

(Washington, DC) — Today in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) questioned witnesses on how U.S. policy and strategy should address Russian propaganda efforts. Following intelligence reports that RT News operates as a propaganda outlet for the Russian government, Shaheen introduced legislation that gives the Department of Justice new authority to investigate potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act by RT America. “I filed legislation that would change the way FARA operates to look at whether [RT News] is trying to circumvent our legislation and not register. I think I hit a nerve because there has been an interesting response in Russia to that legislation,” said Shaheen. “But can you talk about how much we should be concerned about this propaganda arm?... How much of a piece of what Russia is trying to do is this, and what should we be doing in response to it?”

“I think it was surprising to me how little the western world talked about what quietly happened here 10 days ago, where Russia established an information warfare division of their military and beginning to funnel an even more military approach to how they do this,” said Retired USAF General Philip M. Breedlove, Distinguished Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Institute of Technology. “I think this is something we need to be very attentive to… What we need to do is get our truths, our values, and our lines out there in an aggressive way so that the world can see the other side of this story.”

“I think working with our NATO and EU partners is absolutely essential in this,” said Ambassador William J. Burns, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “We have a much stronger voice when we are part of a chorus on these issues than when we are doing it solo.”

Ambassador Alexander R. Vershbow, Distinguished Fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, said, “If there are legal issues… we should look closely at that because it is, as we all know, an arm of the Russian government, de facto if not de jure.”

Shaheen thanked the witnesses for their testimony and agreed there is real “concern about that type of propaganda.”