Close Putin ally admits to interfering in U.S. elections
Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch and businessman, admitted in remarks on Monday that he had previously interfered in U.S. elections and would continue to do so in the future.
Why it matters: The comments are an about-face for Prigozhin, who has spent years denying accusations of being involved in election interference, despite being formally implicated by the U.S. government, AP reported.
- The admission comes on the eve of the U.S. midterm elections.
What they're saying: "We have interfered, are interfering and will continue to interfere. Carefully, precisely, surgically and in our own way, as we know how,” Prigozhin said in remarks Monday.
- "During our pinpoint operations, we will remove both kidneys and the liver at once," he added.
- The comments were posted by the press service of Prigozhin's Concord catering firm on the Russian social media network VKontakte.
The big picture: Prigozhin is often referred to as "Putin's chef" on account of his firm's catering contracts with the Kremlin.
- In July, the State Department offered an up to $10 million reward for information on Prigozhin relating to "foreign interference in U.S. elections."
- Prigozhin and 12 other Russians and three organizations were charged by the U.S. government in 2018 over their efforts to influence the 2016 election, AP reported.
- He was accused of providing funding to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm, per AP.
- Prigozhin has also been sanctioned by the U.S., European Union and the United Kingdom, per Reuters.