WASHINGTON — Dr. Scott Atlas, one of President Donald Trump’s science advisers, is apologizing after appearing on the Russian state-funded TV channel RT to criticize lockdown measures aimed at stemming the coronavirus.
In a tweet Sunday, Atlas wrote he was unaware that RT was a registered foreign agent. He said he regretted the interview and apologized, particularly to the national security community, “for allowing myself to be taken advantage of.”
Atlas told RT over the weekend that he considered the COVID-19 pandemic to be mostly under control and that it was actually lockdowns that are “killing people.”
RT is registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which applies to people or companies disseminating information in the U.S. on behalf of foreign governments, political parties and other “foreign principals.”
U.S. intelligence agencies have alleged RT served as a propaganda outlet for the Kremlin as part of a multi-pronged effort to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Russia denies interfering.