News anchor Liz Wahl resigned from the RT America network while she was live on air Wednesday, telling viewers she could not in good conscience work for a news organization funded by the Russian government.
Wahl described her family history as refugees from Soviet Hungary, saying that it has always made working with Russia Today difficult, but that she could no longer be employed by the network following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions against Crimea.
“I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin,” Wahl said on air. “I’m proud to be an American, and believe in disseminating the truth. And that is why, after this newscast, I’m resigning.”
Wahl cited fellow RT America anchor Abby Martin’s on-air criticism of Putin as a reason for her resignation. While on the air Monday night, Martin said she “cannot stress enough” how strongly she believed that “Russia was wrong” in sending troops to Crimea.
Read Wahl’s full statements below, followed by video of her resignation.
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"Last night, RT made international headlines when one of our anchors went on the record and said Russian intervention in Crimea is wrong, and indeed as a reporter on this network I face many ethical and moral challenges, especially personally, coming from my family. My grandparents came here as refugees during the Hungarian revolution, ironically to escape Soviet forces. I have family on the opposite side, my mother’s side, that sees the daily grind of poverty and I’m very lucky to have grown up here in the United States. I’m the daughter of a veteran. My partner is a physician at a military base where he sees every day the first hands accounts of the ultimate prices that people pay for this country. And that is why personally, I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I’m proud to be an American, and believe in disseminating the truth. And that is why, after this newscast, I’m resigning."