Democratic candidate Julia Salazar has a history of partying with a journalist who works for the Russian government-funded television network Russia Today America, according to Facebook posts discovered by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photos of a party, which was thrown as a birthday celebration for the controversial anti-Israel journalist Max Blumenthal, were uploaded on Dec. 21, 2015, by Rania Khalek. Khalek currently works as a reporter for the left-leaning video site In The Now.
Salazar, a self-identifying Democratic socialist, is running for state senate in New York’s District 18.
The photos show Salazar with Anya Parampil, a D.C.-based journalist who currently works for RT America, a Kremlin-backed network considered by many, including the U.S. government, as a “propaganda” outlet for the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin.
Parampil has worked for RT since at least the spring of 2015.
The Trump administration ordered RT in 2017 to register as a “foreign agent” under anti-propaganda laws after an investigation by U.S. intelligence services. Lawmakers, under the Foreign Agents Registration Modernisation and Enforcement Act, said RT was “foreign propaganda dressed up as a legitimate news outlet.”
Putin admitted in 2013 that RT “cannot help but reflect the Russian government’s official position on the events in our country and in the rest of the world one way or another.”
Other journalists, like Julia Ioffe, have described RT “as a soft-power tool to improve Russia’s image abroad, to counter the anti-Russian bias the Kremlin saw in the Western media.”
The question of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election remains an active political and national security question. The Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the last presidential election were largely biased toward President Donald Trump, however, left-wing candidates like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Green Party nominee Jill Stein also received help through advertisements on social networking sites like Facebook.
Salazar has recently come under fire by a number of news outlets for reportedly misleading or outright lying about her religious background and upbringing. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: New York State Senate Socialist Candidate Gentrifies Neighborhood Living In New Luxury High Rise)
She “lied about her immigrant identity and she’s lying about being Jewish,” a classmate of Salazar said, Haaretz reported in August. Other students collaborated in the accusation.
Salazar has since admitted “that her identification as a Jew is based largely on family lore,” according to Haaretz.
Salazar had misrepresented her childhood, which she previously said was “working class,” TheDCNF reported on a story first printed in City & State New York on Aug. 30. Her brother told City & State the family grew up in a “middle class” house “along the river” in a “beautiful neighborhood” thanks to her father’s “six-figure paycheck.”
Salazar currently lives in a new luxury apartment building in the gentrifying neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn, despite running on an anti-development platform, TheDCNF discovered on Aug. 22.
A request for comment from Salazar’s campaign was not returned.
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