‘Putin leader’ claims to have interfered in US elections (report)
Yevgeny Prigozhin, an entrepreneur known as ‘Putin’s boss’ because of his Kremlin catering contracts, reportedly admitted on Monday that he interfered in the US election and said he would continue to do so – confirming for the first time the accusations he’s been denying for years.
« We have interfered, are interfering and will continue to interfere. Carefully, precisely, surgically and in our own way, » Prigozhin said in remarks posted by his spokespersons on social media.
Prigozhin, a dozen other Russian nationals and three Russian companies have been accused of carrying out a secret social media campaign aimed at fomenting discord and dividing American public opinion ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.
They were indicted in 2018 as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference.
In 2020, the Department of Justice decided to dismiss charges against two of the accused companies, Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering, saying they had concluded that a lawsuit against a defendant company with no presence in the United States and with no prospect of meaningful punishment even if convicted, he would likely expose sensitive law enforcement tools and techniques.
Prigozhin had denied any involvement in election interference so far.
He has also previously denied links to the Wagner Mercenary Force, but in September admitted to founding and funding it in 2014 and began speaking openly about his involvement in the war in Ukraine.
« He allegedly oversaw and approved their political and election interference operations in the United States, which included the purchase of American computer server space, the creation of hundreds of fictional characters online, and the use of stolen identities of people in the United States, » said the FBI said in a wanted poster in March.
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Fox News’ Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.