March of the Trolls: Right-Wing Activists Take Aim at German Election - 2017-09-13
Neo-Nazi Auernheimer even maintains relations with people close to the U.S. president -- such as Charles Chuck Johnson, one of the first "alt-right" trolls, who now runs his own fake news website. In earlier days, Johnson worked for the "alt-right" platform Breitbart, where Trump confidant Steve Bannon is back at the helm now that he is no longer at the White House.
Johnson spent election night at Trump's victory party in New York. He and Auernheimer have known and supported each other for years. Johnson even collected more than $150,000 on the crowdfunding portal WeSearch for the Daily Stormer's legal costs.
The "alt-right" movement also maintains contacts with pro-Russian networks. The American activists distributed information in the internet stating that Hillary Clinton had received support during the election campaign from the Ukrainian government, with money they alleged had been provided by the International Monetary Fund. The fake news is ascribed to the hacking group CyberBerkut, which is known to have attacked targets in Ukraine multiple times. Western intelligence services believe that the group has ties to the Kremlin.
It has long been known that Moscow attempts to influence political debates in Germany as well. At the respected London School of Economics, a working group that includes Pulitzer Prize-winning American author and journalist Anne Applebaum and Russian-born writer Peter Pomerantsev, has been analyzing these efforts. They have also looked into the conspicuous affinity Moscow seems to have for the AfD. Since the publication of his book "Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia," Pomerantsev has been considered an expert on Russian info wars.