C-SPAN confirmed Thursday that earlier in the day Russian state television channel RT interrupted its broadcast, an incident it believed was caused by “an internal routing issue.”
The public streaming feed that regularly captures and broadcasts from Congress, the White House and other government agencies said it was unsure what had caused RT to take over a broadcast of a House floor debate.
“This afternoon the online feed for C-SPAN was briefly interrupted by RT programming,” the network said on Twitter. “We are currently investigating and troubleshooting this occurrence. As RT is one of the networks we regularly monitor, we are operating under the assumption that it was an internal routing issue.”
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., was speaking about a Securities and Exchange Commission regulation on the House floor at 2:30 pm Eastern time when the C-SPAN broadcast abruptly cut to RT, a Russian-owned English-language channel.
A review of the debate video posted on C-SPAN’s website at the timestamp the live feed was interrupted shows Waters continuing her remarks and does not show anything from RT. The station, which bills itself as a “Russian 24/7 English-language news channel which brings the Russian view on global news,” was founded in 2005.
RT was recently mentioned in the declassified version of the U.S. intelligence report detailing Russian hacking during the presidential campaign. The intelligence community has concluded that hacks of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign were intended to bolster now President-elect Donald Trump’s candidacy and were likely ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.
The declassified report said RT’s coverage of Clinton during the campaign “was consistently negative and focused on her leaked emails and accused her of corruption, poor physical and mental health and ties to Islamic extremism.”
Trump has consistently denied Russia’s election intervention and has praised Putin as a strong leader. The president-elect said publicly for the first time he believed Russia was behind the hacking in a press conference on Wednesday, but later in the same appearance again cast doubt as to who was responsible.
Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed dismay over Trump’s flattering comments of Putin, whom they consider to be a U.S. adversary.
C-SPAN said it would provide updates if they found another cause for the interruption.