Exactly one year to the day that five newspaper journalists were shot dead at the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, as The Washington Post recounted, Donald Trump met face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Osaka, Japan, and “joked” about his desire to “get rid” or journalists.
Trump met with Putin at the G20 summit meeting in Osaka, and according to Bloomberg News White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs, reporting via Twitter, Trump “bonded with Putin over a scorn for journalists.”
“Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it?” Trump told Putin. “You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.”
Putin replied in English.
“We also have. It’s the same,” he said, according to Jacobs’s account of the exchange.
The five journalists killed in the Capital Gazette massacre were gunned down by man who was reportedly a supporter of Trump, but who also held a personal vendetta against the newspaper, claiming that he had been defamed in a story published five years earlier, The Inquisitr reported at the time.
But also approximately one year ago, in July of 2018, three Russian journalists were gunned down in the Central African Republic, as The Guardian reported. The three had arrived there just days before their slayings, to investigate a mercenary group operating in the country, a group reportedly run by a close ally of Putin, leading to the widespread belief that Putin had decided to “get rid” of the journalists.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s Chef” because he began his acquaintance with Putin as the owner of one of the Russian strongman’s favorite restaurants, is believed to be the owner of Wagner Group, the private mercenary army that had set up operations in the CAR, according to The Washington Post.
Wagner Group mercenaries have also operated in Syria, carrying out military operations on behalf of the Kremlin, according to a Washington Post report. The three Russian journalists, Kirill Radchenko, Alexander Rastorguyev, and Orkhan Dzhemal, were supposedly gunned down by robbers, official accounts said.
Prigozhin is a familiar name to Americans who followed the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. As The Inquisitr reported, Mueller last year indicted Prigozhin for his role in the Russian social media propaganda campaign to sway the election in favor of Trump.
Prigozhin, according to Mueller’s indictment, posted online by Politico, owned and financed the Internet Research Agency, the Russian “troll farm” that carried out the social media campaign on Trump’s behalf.