Joseph Mifsud, the professor who allegedly told former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that Russia had obtained leaked emails related to Hillary Clinton, has completely vanished — and even his fiancee can’t find him.
BuzzFeed News reporter Alberto Nardelli this month traveled to Ukraine in search of Mifsud, who has not been seen since being caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
While in Kiev, Nardelli encountered a 31-year-old woman named Anna, who claims that Mifsud is the father of her newborn child — and who says she has not seen him for months.
“Anna… says she was seven months pregnant and engaged to Mifsud when he became the focus of world media attention as the professor who told Papadopoulos that Russia had ‘dirt’ on Clinton,” reports Nardelli. “Shortly thereafter, he dropped from sight. He also cut off all contact with Anna, including phone calls and WhatsApp messages. That silence has held, even six weeks after the daughter Anna says he fathered was born.”
Although Anna was first contacted by BuzzFeed last year, she only decided to speak out recently because she felt that her estranged fiance had deceived her. She also showed the publication a series of text messages sent by Mifsud boasting of having dinner with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Intriguingly, the messages with Anna reveal that Mifsud also traveled to Saudi Arabia last spring at the exact same time that President Donald Trump traveled there for his first overseas trip.
Speaking of spy-novel-like intrigue, there’s also this today:
A self-described sex expert whose videos highlighted the ties between one of Russia’s richest men and the Kremlin has been jailed in Thailand and is calling for U.S. help, claiming she has information about links between Russia and President Trump.
Anastasia Vashukevich, an escort-service worker from Belarus who catapulted to a certain measure of fame after filming a yacht trip with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko, was detained in Thailand over the weekend in a police raid on her “sex training” seminar. While still in custody on Tuesday, she published Instagram videos asking U.S. journalists and intelligence agencies to help her.
Deripaska, with whom Vashukevich said she had an affair, used to employ former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. But Vashukevich, better known by the alias Nastya Rybka, provided no evidence on Tuesday to back up the claim that she had new information to offer related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. A post to her Instagram account showed her sitting on the floor of what was described as a Thai jail cell and said she was sick.
“I am the only witness and the missing link in the connection between Russia and the U.S. elections — the long chain of Oleg Deripaska, Prikhodko, Manafort, and Trump,” Vashukevich said in a live Instagram video Tuesday, apparently shot as she was driven in an open-air police van through the Thai resort city of Pattaya. “In exchange for help from U.S. intelligence services and a guarantee of my safety, I am prepared to provide the necessary information to America or to Europe or to the country which can buy me out of Thai prison.”
Vashukevich said in her video that she had already given an interview to U.S. broadcaster NBC. Representatives for Vashukevich and Deripaska did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman declined to comment.
It’s hard to know what to make of this. It could be some woman just angling to get out of jail. But I hope someone is looking into it.