Repost from The Washington Examiner.
A Virginia company registered as a foreign agent of a Chinese Communist Party media outlet and that owns a radio station paid millions to broadcast CCP propaganda got $100,000 from the U.S. government last year.
Potomac Radio Group, which registered this month under the Foreign Agents Registration Act for its work for Chinese state-run China Global Television Network, received a loan for $106,228 through the Small Business Administration in April 2020, according to ProPublica, with the loan forgiven last year. Potomac reportedly spent $79,673 on payroll, $17,835 on utilities, and $8,720 on rent.
Potomac owns WCRW AM 1190, which is heard in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. The company said it has been paid close to $4.4 million by CGTN and CCP-affiliated China Radio International throughout 2019, 2020, and 2021. WCRW launched The Bridge podcast in August 2020, with the show co-hosted by Chicago-based John St. Augustine and CRI’s Zhou Heyang. St. Augustine has been a producer for Dr. Oz, while Beijing-based Zhou is a prominent Chinese host.
Episodes of the podcast have featured St. Augustine and Zhou praising China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, while St. Augustine has repeatedly attacked Americans and the U.S. response and said he does not care where COVID-19 originated.
At the urging of the Trump Justice Department, CGTN registered as a foreign agent of China in 2019. The Trump State Department designated CGTN and CRI as “foreign missions” of China in 2020.