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DOJ influenced by intelligence report in requiring RT to register as a foreign agent

DOJ influenced by intelligence report in requiring RT to register as a foreign agent

Justice Department officials said Thursday that the department was influenced in its push to require RT to register as a foreign agent by an intelligence community assessment that said the Russian state-owned news agency played a role in Moscow's efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. 

"You probably are aware that the intelligence community published an assessment of Russia's efforts to interfere with our presidential election last year," Deputy Assistant Attorney General for National Security Adam Hickey told reporters during a press conference. 

"That report was certainly relevant to our decision to examine them more recently," he continued. 

RT's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan took aim at the Justice Department in a statement to The Hill. 

"Thank you, DOJ, for finally confirming what many have suspected, about how the sausage is made: RT America was forced to register as a foreign agent at least partially on the basis of a report filled with false facts, obsolete data and blatant errors," Simonyan said. 

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The Justice Department sent a letter to RT in August in which the department highlighted the intelligence community's findings. However, the department did not say the assessment led to additional scrutiny toward RT. 

The department forced RT to register as a foreign agent last month, triggering new disclosure requirements for the organization. 

The Kremlin has railed against the Justice Department's order and threatened to retaliate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law last month that allows Russian authorities to label foreign media as foreign agents. 

- This story was updated at 5:47 P.M. EST