The recent public focus of the “Russian interference” in the 2016 presidential election has been focusing on fourth-place finishing Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who is now under FBI investigation related to her “Russia ties.” This is also centering increasingly on the third-party presidential debate in 2016.
With the more publicized debates centering on the two major parties’ candidates, third-party debates were broadcast on Russian channel RT, which US intelligence has used in the past as “evidence” of Russian involvement in the campaign.
Stein, and the organizers of the debates, are defending the matter, however, saying that the debates were held to give third party candidates at least some access to the voters, and RT was chosen to reach the largest audience they could get.
The “defense” of the debate, really, boils down to the major US-based networks went out of their way to exclude third-parties from the debate system, and that RT didn’t insist on the same narrow political debate as the mainstream. Allowing such debate is such alien concept that everyone seems to feel the need to have those involved justify themselves, and failing that, the FBI is going to tar everyone involved as part of a Russian plot.