Former CNN contributor Scottie Nell Hughes to join RT America

Former CNN contributor Scottie Nell Hughes to join RT America
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Former CNN contributor Scottie Nell Hughes will join RT America, the American arm of the global news network headquartered in Moscow and funded by the Russian government.

Hughes join the network as an anchor, according to The Hollywood Reporter, essentially replacing former MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz, who died in July. She will anchor the network's nightly newscasts during the week, with a source describing the deal to the publication as "lucrative."

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"It’s an honor and privilege to anchor RT America’s weeknight newscasts," Hughes said. "Ed Schultz was a dear friend and mentor. I can never fill his shoes, but I’ll do my best to live up to his high standards by reporting the real news, with balance, respect and hopefully a bit of Southern charm.”

Hughes appeared on CNN frequently during the 2016 presidential contest as a supporter of President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE, while also appearing on Fox Business Network. Her contract with CNN ended in January 2017, shortly before Trump's inauguration.

At the time, she denied reports from reporter Yashar Ali that she had been "cut" from the network's list of contributors.

"My contract with CNN was only through January," said Hughes. "No contract is being cut or is ending early, and I was under no illusion it was going to continue past that."

In 2017, Hughes sued Fox Business Network, alleging that she had been barred from the network after she reported that she was raped by the network's anchor Charles Payne.

Payne was suspended over the allegations, but returned to the network later that year. He denied the allegations, calling them an "ugly lie" in a tweet.

In April, a judge allowed Hughes to move forwards with claims of failure-to-hire and retaliation against the network, while claims of sexual assault and harassment were dismissed.

In a statement, RT America's news director praised Hughes.

"Ms. Hughes has a commanding presence, and we are eager to watch her grow into her new role here," Mikhail Solodovnikov told The Hollywood Reporter.

RT America was forced by U.S. authorities to register as a foreign agent with the Justice Department and was reported to have been part of a Russian government effort aimed at "undermining viewers' trust in U.S. democratic procedures." The network has denied those claims, and says it is an independent news agency operating without influence from the Russian government.