Sputnik, a Russian state-owned news outlet, has applied for a White House Press pass.
The Russian news source is asking for membership in the White House Foreign Press Group. This group of about 22 foreign outlets covers President Trump alongside pool reporters from U.S. news outlets.
Philip Crowther, White House correspondent for France’s News24 and head of the White House Foreign Press Group, stated that there “shouldn’t be any reason” for the Russian publication to not join the press pool if they meet the required criteria. These include membership in the White House Correspondents’ Association, verification that Sputnik is based in Russia through the U.S. State Department, and a White House-approved hard pass.
Sputnik is one of the newer Russian state-sponsored news outlets, launching in 2014. It has received criticism of a staunch pro-Putin position and has been viewed as a mouthpiece for the Kremlin.
President Trump’s campaign and several of his top advisors have been under investigation by the FBI, as confirmed under oath by FBI Director James Comey during a Congressional hearing last week. The agency is reviewing the possibility of any links or coordination between the campaign and Moscow.