A Belarusian model said she had proof that President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
She says she lied.
Anastasia Vashukevich has now backtracked and says she made up the claims.
Vashukevich spent a few months in a Thai jail last year for organizing sex training seminars, she hit the headlines after saying she had evidence that Russia worked with Trump’s campaign.
She asked the United States government to help secure her freedom from the Thai jail and grant her political asylum in exchange for so-called recordings in which she claimed Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska is heard talking about interfering in the U.S. presidential elections. She said she worked as an escort and Deripaska was one of her clients.
Following her deportation from Thailand this month, Vashukevich was detained in Russia on prostitution charges. She was later released after an investigator decided to free her without an “obligation to appear” for further proceedings.
But now Anastasia Vashukevich says her story was just an effort to get some media attention and save her life while she was detained in Thailand.
“I think it saved my life, how can I regret it? If journalists had not come at that time and that story had not come to the newspapers, maybe I would die [be dead by] now,” she told CNN.’
Vashukevich also said that Russian security services told her not to speak about Deripaska anymore.
“They explained to me very clear[ly] what should I do, what should I say and what I shouldn’t say,” she said. “They said to me, ‘Don’t touch Oleg Deripaska anymore.’”
During her detention in Moscow, Vashukevich said she promised in a Russian court that she won’t be releasing any further recordings concerning the oligarch and asked for his forgiveness.
“There won’t be any more audio recordings about Oleg Deripaska,” she told reporters, according to the Telegraph. “I won’t compromise him anymore, so he can relax, really, I’ve had enough.”
Deripaska is known to be closely associated with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also worked with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort who was convicted of bank and tax fraud last year.
Deripaska has denied having known her saying he didn’t have an affair with Vashukevich.
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