During the election campaign last year, it sent out a package that suggested in part that voters should not support Hillary Clinton because the Democratic Party was historically pro-slavery. More recently, Sinclair asked stations to run a short segment in which Scott Livingston, the company’s vice president for news, accused the national news media of publishing “fake news stories.”
Later, at the White House, Mr. Lavrov met President Trump for what was supposed to be a private meeting, with no reporters or cameras allowed into the Oval Office, save for official photographers from each government. Afterward, the Russian state news agency, Tass, published pictures of Mr. Trump and Mr. Lavrov grinning broadly, alongside the Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergey I. Kislyak.White House officials were furious, saying their Russian counterparts had tricked them. The point of barring the news media, a senior official said, was to prevent the publication of images of a meeting that was, at a minimum, badly timed, given that Mr. Trump had just fired the director of the agency investigating his campaign’s ties to Russia.