In a strange moment of startling symmetry with the current state of American politics, C-SPAN—the public affairs network that regularly broadcasts proceedings of the House of Representatives and Senate—was interrupted by a broadcast of Russia Today.
The state-funded Russian news network briefly took over the online feed of C-SPAN1, which had been broadcasting a discussion in Congress regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission Regulatory Accountability Act.
As Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., was speaking the feed suddenly cut from the House floor to a broadcast of RT. The feed cut in with a commercial break before returning to the RT news desk, where an anchor spoke of a suicide bombing.
C-Span confirmed the incident in a statement to IB Times: "This afternoon the online feed for C-SPAN was briefly interrupted by RT programming. We are currently investigating and troubleshooting this occurrence. As RT is one of the networks we regularly monitor, we are operating under the assumption that it was an internal routing issue. If that changes we will certainly let you know."
Multiple C-SPAN watchers made mention of the sudden change on Twitter, including Deadspin editor Timothy Burke, who captured the moment the C-SPAN feed switched to RT.
The takeover reportedly lasted about 10 minutes before the C-SPAN feed returned. The interruption does not appear on the saved broadcast hosted on the network's website.
Viewers who caught the original broadcast and the subsequent clip shared on Twitter assumed the interruption was the result of Russian hacking.
Despite the initial assertion from people on social media implicating Russia of hacking C-SPAN, the network viewed it as a likely technical problem.
IB Times also reached out to Russia Today but has not yet received a response.
The apparent takeover of the C-SPAN feed comes after reports of Russian hackers interfering with the U.S. presidential election. According to recent reports, Russian president Vladimir Putin was directly involved in the hacking efforts, which resulted in the theft and publication of private emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, the chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign.
U.S. intelligence chiefs are in apparent agreement that Russia attempted to influence the outcome of the election to benefit Donald Trump.