CNN interview with Russian ‘sex coach’ about 2016 election meddling causes online furor

They called the segment ‘desperate.’

A woman who claims to have ties to a Russian oligarch said she has audio recordings that might be relevant to investigations into Russia‘s interference in the 2016 election and conservatives are blasting CNN for interviewing her.

Anastasia Vashukevich, who is facing criminal charges after allegedly working at a sex-training seminar in Thailand without a visa, has said she would give over the records—which are said to be 16 hours worth of audio—if the United States grants her asylum, the New York Times reports.

Vashukevich, 21, made the recording of Russian aluminum oligarch Oleg Deripaska in August 2016, the newspaper reported, and includes discussions he had about the 2016 presidential election. Deripaska has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump‘s former campaign chairman who was recently indicted on separate charges as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

On Monday, CNN spoke with Vashukevich, who reiterated that she would “help with an investigation” if she was able to get out of an immigration detention center in Bangkok. In the segment, CNN showed Instagram photos of Vashukevich and Deripaska.

“They had a plan for the election,” she told CNN.

However, CNN reporting on Vashukevich was blasted by conservatives and right-wing websites as a “desperate” attempt to continue reporting on the Russia investigation.

InfoWars, the conspiracy theory-peddling website that has come under fire in recent weeks for posting incendiary content surrounding the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, said CNN had “gone bananas” for airing the segment.

“Yes America, today CNN sends Ivan Watson to Bangkok, Thailand, for an interview with a prostitute claiming to have the goods on the President Trump’s collusion with Russia,” a blog post on InfoWars reads. ”

Meanwhile, The Daily Wire, a right-leaning website founded by Ben Shapiro, called the segment “embarrassing.”

Other conservatives, such as actor James Woods—who is known for his far-right views and has attacked CNN on Twitter in the past—similarly went in.

Woods wasn’t alone in criticizing the segment.

You can read CNN’s interview here.

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today,, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).