Who organized that recent rally in Portland, Oregon that turned deadly? A new Washington Post investigation suggests the demonstration at which a man was shot dead was some sort of Russian influence operation organized on Facebook.
The face of the operation was one Alex Kuzmenko from Idaho.
"Alek Kyzik," as he identified himself on social media, and members of his family in Idaho, are U.S. immigrants from Belarus and Ukraine.
"When approached at a church in Meridian [Idaho] run by a relative, Alex Kuzmenko said his political activities were personal, insisting, 'I'm not a public figure," reports the Washington Post. A little late for that, my dude.
Kyzik was not well known in Republican activist circles. In fact, Kyzik was not even his real name, according to a review of business and academic records, as well as interviews with family members.
He is Alex Kuzmenko, a 33-year-old architect who lives in a second-story apartment in Meridian, a bedroom community outside the majority-Democratic city of Boise. His YouTube channel featured luxury car reviews before shifting to pro-Trump memes and videos several months ago. He and members of his family — immigrants from Belarus and Ukraine — had almost no political profile before organizing one of the most consequential pro-Trump demonstrations of the summer.
The shooting of Aaron "Jay" Danielson, 39, a supporter of the far-right group Patriot Prayer and a participant in the cruise rally, became a bloody bookend to an anguished summer in Portland and other communities. The alleged assailant, a self-described adherent of antifascism, or antifa, was later killed in an encounter with police.
Read more at the Washington Post: "Luxury cars, MAGA flags and Facebook invites: How an unknown Idaho family organized the Portland rally that turned deadly"