Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik / Kremlin Pool via AP file
Should Flynn have known about RT’s role in anti-U.S. propaganda? The annex, according to the assessment, was based on an unclassified report distributed to the intelligence community in December 2012. That’s eight months after Flynn was installed as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, a key component of the community. He was head of the DIA until he was pushed out in August 2014.
Ironically, as the heat turns up on Flynn, RT is starting to change its tune.
Clinton Watts, a senior fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University, says there has been a noticeable change in Russian messaging since the U.S. hit a Syrian government airstrip with cruise missiles on April 6 as retaliation for a deadly gas attack on Syrian civilians.
“The tone has changed across the Russian information networks, including RT,” said Watts, who testified before Congress earlier this year on Russian attempts to influence the U.S. “The first time there was an indication they’re not happy with the administration was when missiles started to land in Syria. It’s not the level that we saw with Secretary Clinton, not that aggressive, but certainly more antagonistic than they had been.”
Watts also said he was mystified that Flynn didn’t disclose his payment by RT, since his interview was broadcast on the network. “Knowing it was out there, on their air, why did he hide it? It makes no sense.”