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Russia Today’ Anchor Quits On Air Over Putin ‘Whitewash’

Liz Wahl appears on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell msnbc

An anchor with the U.S. network RT — or "Russia Today" — dramatically quit on the air Wednesday afternoon, saying the Kremlin-funded outlet "whitewashes" the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Liz Wahl, who works out of the network's Washington, D.C. offices, began her televised resignation by referencing co-worker Abby Martin, who made headlines by denouncing Russian intervention in Ukraine earlier this week.

"Indeed as a reporter on this network I face many moral and ethical challenges," Wahl said.

She said that her grandparents came to the United States during the Hungarian Revolution to escape Soviet forces, and she feels lucky to have grown up in America.

"I'm the daughter of a veteran," she continued. "My partner is a physician at a military base where he sees every day the first-hand accounts of the ultimate prices that people pay for this country.

"That is why personally I cannot be part of [a] network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin," she said.

"I'm proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth. And that is why after this newscast I am resigning."

Wahl told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell that her work was repeatedly censored and distorted and RT's mission was “to try to make America look like the bad guy and make excuses for Putin.”

“I morally, ethically feel like I cannot be part of this network and I feel like the American people should know what this network is about."

Liz Wahl: RT 'whitewashes' Putin's actions 7:25

A day before she quit, Wahl had tweeted sympathy for Martin, who was offered a posting in Crimea after she criticized Russia on the air.

Martin still has a job. RT did not respond to requests for comment from NBC News but said in a statement to Buzzfeed that Wahl was trying to become an "overnight sensation" like Martin.

"When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organization, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and, if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional," the statement said.

"But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt."