USA: 'We support the First Amendment', State Department spokesperson deflects questions from RT journalist

SOT, Heather Nauert, Spokesperson of the US Department of State: «I think press credentials may have been revoked by Congress and not necessarily by the members of Congress, but rather the association of reporters that handles who gets to come in and cover Congress. The FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act], the act that you're speaking of, only requires that organisations register with the... Еще federal government. That is it. The United States does not tell any Russian news organisation what to report or how to report it. We don't tell Turkish ones, we don't tell Polish ones. In fact, the fact that you're here as a representative of the Russian government is a perfect example of how we do not restrict any type of freedom of the press. You come in, Sputnik come in, all the Russians come in here and you are more than welcome. And the reason why you are more than welcome. Hold on. The reason that you are more than welcome is because we have freedom of the press here in the United States. We support the First Amendment. We wish that the Russian government would give us the same opportunities to report freely in Russia as we provide you all here. Any of you listen to Bluegrass. Alright, Laurie, you listen to Bluegrass. My understanding is that one of the Bluegrass stations, I think it is 105.5 [FM, here in Washington, is that right. You're nodding, you're nodding too. Ok, it used to be Bluegrass, and now it's Russian radio. Right, now it's Sputnik radio. So that is a perfect example of the free airwaves here where people don't have to pay for it, but they get Russian news, if you will. And, by the way, may I just mention that Russian government itself has talked about how it will influence RT and Sputnik, how it will influence how it reports and what it reports on.» SOT, Sameera Khan, RT journalist: «Yes, but back to the original question, we can't go the the House of Representatives or the Senate to report so that restricts our ability report on that.» SOT, Heather Nauert, Spokesperson of the US Department of State: «I would encourage you then to talk to the Congressional correspondence association. You are more than welcome here at the State Department anytime you like, but that would be up for the Congressional correspondence association to handle.» *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE* Spokesperson of the US Department of State Heather Nauert and RT journalist Sameera Khan engaged in a tense exchange about freedom of the press at a briefing in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. Khan asked Nauert why RT's press credentials were revoked by Congress despite official reassurances that by registering as a foreign agent, RT would have not inhibited the company's ability to report. The State Department spokesperson deflected Khan's line of questioning, instead placing blame on the Congress Radio and Television Correspondents' Association of Washington, D.C. «I think press credentials may have been revoked by Congress, and not necessarily the members of Congress, but rather the association of reporters that handles who gets to come in and cover Congress. The FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act], the act that you're speaking of, only requires the organisations register with the federal government». Nauert also refuted Khan's claims that the United States was infringing freedom of the press. «The reason that you are more than welcome is because we have freedom of the press here in the United States. We support the First Amendment.» On November 13, RT America was forced to comply with the US Department of Justice's order to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The Russian State Duma responded by banning US journalists from entering its buildings in central Moscow.

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