Alexander Malkevich, a Russian “journalist” who operates the propaganda site USAReally, was stopped and questioned by the FBI on Friday as he was returning to Russia after acting as an “election observer” during the November 6 midterm elections, according to a report by the Russian news agency Tass.
Malkevich’s site, USAReally, publishes and spreads divisive news stories — both real and fake — about social and political problems in the United States. The site is financed in part by Russia’s Federal News Agency, a group with ties to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the oligarch known as “Putin’s Chef.” The Inquisitr has reported that Prigozhin finances the Internet Research Agency, the Russian “troll farm” indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Prigozhin was also indicted by Mueller.
“Malkevich visited the United States during the interim elections held on November 6. He traveled to the State of Maryland, where he visited three voting stations and headquarters of the candidate to governors from the Republican Party,” according to the Tass report.
While Russia has sent “observers” to monitor U.S. elections since 1993, as The Hill recounted, the presence of a Russian propagandist with ties to the 2016 election sabotage operation designed to help elect Donald Trump appears highly unusual.
The Russian embassy in the U.S. said that it had inquired about the detention of Malkevich to the U.S. State Depertment.
In connection with media reports concerning detention of Russian journalist Alexander Malkevich by @FBI officers in the Washington airport, an inquiry regarding the circumstances of the event was sent to the @StateDept pic.twitter.com/NSPjDM8WZO
— Russia in USA ???????? (@RusEmbUSA) November 11, 2018
But little is known about why Malkevich, 43, was questioned by the FBI, or if the reported interrogation was part of Mueller’s ongoing probe into Russian election interference. The Russian state-run media outlet, Sputnik, appeared to have more information than the U.S. media, which has not, as of Saturday, reported widely on the detention of Malkevich.
“During the several hours of questioning, the FBI agents tried to find out whether Malkevich was engaged in the alleged Russian meddling in the US elections as well as whether he was an agent of Russian intelligence services,” a Sputnik report claimed. “After the questioning Malkevich was allowed to leave the United States.”
As Inquisitr reported, USAReally launched on June 14: Donald Trump’s birthday.
“WAKE UP AMERICANS! June 14th is not just the birthday of the US President. Not just a Flag Day,” the site announced in a blog post before going live. “On this day we officially starts our project USAReally: the honest media about what is really happening around. Our slogan is ‘USA as it is.'”