Newly-indicted Russian spy also worked as a promoter for Trump: report
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday announced the indictment of Elena Branson (a.k.a Elena Chernykh) who is being described as a "Russian spy."
Branson, who is facing five charges, is accused of being yet another alleged Russian spy who worked to promote former President Donald Trump and attract potential voters for his rallies. The latest development follows The Daily Beast's previous report detailing the FBI's investigative probe into Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots of the U.S. — typically known for its Russian acronym, (KSORS) — and their work to promote Russian policies.
"Branson, 61, is also alleged to have tried to get Trump to attend the 2016 World Chess Championship, which was being held at New York’s South Street Seaport," NBC News reported Tuesday evening. "Prosecutors said she emailed a Trump adviser on Nov. 10, 2016, asking that Trump, then the president-elect, attend the event. The FBI said in the court filing that it publicly released photos from the event to show it was attended by Dmitry Peskov, who is now Putin's press secretary. There is no indication that Trump attended."
Per the federal complaint explained in a report published by The Independent, the U.S. Attorney's Office claims Branson corresponded "with a high-ranking Russian, as well as Vladimir Putin himself, in an effort to open a 'propaganda center' in New York City." She also "received tens of thousands of dollars in funding from the Russian government" as she held events and worked on messaging directed by Russian officials," according to the complaint.
The British monthly Byline Times also reported similar findings as it noted that Branson and her colleague Sergey Gladysh shared Facebook promotions for the “Trump 2020 Labor Day Cruise Rally” held in Portland, Ore., on Russian organization's social media page.
"The news website featured articles with the titles such as 'Second Trump term is crucial to prospect of better U.S.-Russia relations, safer world,' and “Biden victory will spell disaster for U.S.-Russia relations, warns billionaire," noted Stedman. "The billionaire referenced by the outlet is Oleg Deripaska, a key figure in the 2016 Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia."
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