One America News Network, A Trump Favorite, Employs Kremlin Writer, Kristian Brunovich Rouz
One America News Network, the “news” channel endorsed by President Donald Trump, features a reporter who, in addition to highlighting fake stories, works for the Russian propaganda company, Sputnik, that was accused of having a role in the 2016 election meddling.
Kristian Brunovich Rouz, originally from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, is a Russian national who is one of the on-air reporters for OAN. Rouz joined the news outlet in 2017, moving to San Diego in order to be close to the station. Rouz has also been writing for Sputnik, the Kremlin-sponsored propaganda machine, since December 2014.
During his tenure at OAN, Rouz has supported many far-right and extremist conspiracy theories, many of which fit right into the xenophobic and racist rhetoric of Trump.
One of Rouz’s reports targeted the Jewish billionaire financier George Soros, accusing him of collaborating with the Nazis during World War II when Soros was a teenager in Eastern Europe. This theory has been repeatedly debunked, but anti-Semites continue to swear by it in an attempt to smear a prominent Jewish figure. Rouz also claimed that Soros used his vast wealth to fund the migrant caravans that were making their way into the United States.
Another of Rouz’s stories attacked a favorite Trump target, Hillary Clinton, asserting that she had used $800,000 of her campaign funds to back antifa (anti-fascist) protestors. The story, which has no legitimate basis or evidence, purports that Clinton gave the protestors money that “went toward things like bricks, hammers, bats, and chains.”
“This completes the merger between Russian state-sponsored propaganda and American conservative media,” said former FBI agent Clint Watts, who is now a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. “We used to think of it as ‘They just have the same views’ or ‘They use the same story leads.’ But now they have the same personnel.”