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CNN exposes secret private military group that does Putin’s bidding around the world

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Kremlin photo of Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin talking on the phone.

On Monday, CNN reporter Clarissa Ward explained the shadowy operations of the Wagner Group, a paramilitary organization that experts believe is under the control of the Kremlin — and which is used to exert Russia’s might and disrupt politics around the world.

“I think everybody knows by now that hybrid warfare is one of the most valuable tools Russian President Vladimir Putin has in his arsenal, whether it’s misinformation campaigns, election meddling as the U.S. saw in the 2016 election or increasingly the use of mercenaries,” said Ward. “Russian mercenaries are popping up, as we learned, in countries across the globe, often unstable countries, they’re being used to boost Russian influence, but also to outmaneuver geopolitical rivals such as the U.S.”

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“Officially, the Kremlin says they have nothing to do with mercenary groups whatsoever,” said Ward. “But we sat down in a television first with a former fighter with notorious Wagner Group, and he told us a very different story.”

“I’m a mercenary,” said “Oleg,” a former Syrian fighter in the pay of Wagner, in a CNN interview through a translator. “90 percent of participants of the company were like me, motivated by money.”

Ward noted that Wagner, despite Russia denying its existence, now has “hundreds of fighters operating on three different continents” — all allegedly in the pay of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Putin ally who also helped fund the troll farm used to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“CNN traveled to the remote Russian village of Molchino, to try to get to his training camp, and found that the group has a surprisingly close relationship with the Russian military,” said Ward. “The only way to get into the Wagner barracks is to get through that checkpoint, which is manned by the Russian military, because this actually belongs to a Russian special forces unit.”

“Not far from Molchino, there is a monument to fallen Wagner fighters. Visitors are not welcome, so we approach with a hidden camera,” continued Molchino. “A guard soon comes up to us … He begins to get suspicious of our questions, and we decide to leave. They didn’t let us inside, which is not surprising, because in that compound is the only tangible, visible proof that Wagner is real.”

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“No surprise, perhaps, that the monument is funded by an Prigozhin-owned company,” said Ward. “It was five years ago in Crimea that mysterious unidentified fighters dubbed ‘little green men’ helped wrest the province from Ukraine, even as the Kremlin feigned ignorance. It was a success, and Moscow’s use of mercenary forces has since grown. Analysts say none of this could happen without Putin’s approval.”

“Russia is trying to suppress the U.S.,” said Oleg. “In every way possible using legal and illegal means. It’s trying to smash it, get the better of it somehow. What will come of it as a result? Nothing good, I think.”

“But for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Wagner is still a worthwhile gamble, an expendable fighting force with no accountability,” concluded Ward.

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Trump’s testing czar is running a ‘cover-up’ for president’s ‘abysmal failure’: CNN’s Sanjay Gupta

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CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is accusing President Donald Trump's testing czar of running a "cover-up" of the president's incompetent response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

During an interview Friday, Gupta reacted to defensive statements made by Brett Giroir, the federal official tapped by Trump to oversee efforts to increase COVID-19 testing capacity, who has been insisting that there is nothing wrong with the United States' ability to quickly test for the disease.

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‘He is lying’: Colorado election chief tears into Trump — and debunks his lies about mail-in ballots

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold tore down President Donald Trump's false claims about voting by mail.

"Every voter in your state is sent a ballot by mail," said host Erin Burnett. "Have you seen anything — anything at all — that would back up any concern about mail-in ballots being rigged, being corrupt?"

"President Trump is lying about vote by mail," said Griswold. "Colorado has a very clean history of running great elections with vote by mail. We have safeguards in place to make sure we would catch any type of double-voting, including signature verification, rules about ballot collection, and a lot of other safeguards. But what is true is that there's over 160,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19. It's thousands of times more likely for an American to pass away because of the coronavirus than any type of fraud."

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Trump’s ‘not smart’ attacks on Kamala Harris as an angry Black woman will backfire: CNN’s Van Jones

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CNN's Van Jones on Thursday said that President Donald Trump's decision to attack presumptive Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as an "angry" Black woman would backfire.

Reacting to the president's remarks about Harris during a Fox Business interview, in which he called her "a mad woman" who is "so angry," Jones said that Trump would only work to make the California senator more of a sympathetic figure.

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