C-SPAN online feed briefly interrupted by Russian TV

Daniella Silva and The Associated Press

C-SPAN is investigating how its online feed of the House of Representatives Thursday was interrupted by programming for the Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT, a network that an intelligence report said collaborated with WikiLeaks in a propaganda effort to discredit the U.S.

C-SPAN said in a statement the problem was likely an internal routing issue, since RT is one of the networks that C-SPAN regularly monitors. "We don't believe that we were hacked," the channel said.

Spokesman Howard Mortman said C-SPAN's website was replaced by RT for about 10 minutes. He said the network is "investigating and troubleshooting this occurrence."

The feed of the House floor cut to RT Thursday afternoon during the middle of a speech by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. Waters told the New York Times she found the timing of the incident "strange."

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"I just think it's strange," Waters said. "At a time when our intelligence agencies are very confident and basically have confirmed that Russia hacked the D.N.C. and other political interests, and then we have, while I'm on the floor of the House, talking about Trump and Russia, I get interfered with and interrupted by Russia Today."

The programming glitch came hours after a power outage interrupted a Senate confirmation hearing for Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo to head the CIA. The hearing reconvened in a different room.

The Architect of the Capitol's office said a local power company "de-energized" a system that feeds power to the Hart Senate Office Building. The office said the company, Pepco, quickly restored the lost power.

A declassified version of a long-awaited intelligence report that was released last Friday detailed a Russian covert operation that was designed to undermine American democracy and to try to help Donald Trump win the presidency in November.

The report accused RT of collaborating with WikiLeaks in order to discredit the United States and noted that RT's editor-in-chief visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in August 2013 and discussed renewing Assange's broadcasting contract with the network.

"The Kremlin's principal international propaganda outlet RT (formerly Russia Today) has actively collaborated with WikiLeaks," the report said.