WASHINGTON – The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi news source that critics say is the nation's top hate website, found itself virtually kicked out of the country earlier this week, as both GoDaddy and Google refused to host the site anymore after its incendiary coverage of protests in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend.
But by Wednesday morning, the Daily Stormer had found a new home – in Russia.
"And the Stormers rushed out of their cave into their new lovely, lovely home at DailyStormer.ru," wrote the site's founder, Andrew Anglin. "And all of the WHITE people felt joy once more. And they laughed joyously and sang 'the Daily Stormer never dies!' ”
The website – featuring a lead photograph of President Trump and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin chatting amicably – explained its sudden reappearance as "a tale of true friendship" between the United States and Russia.
The Daily Stormer site mysteriously went dark a few hours after appearing on Russia's leading web server.
But that's unlikely to quell the questions about the Daily Stormer's alliance with a nation that's been meddling in America's affairs, including last year's presidential election.
The Daily Stormer's move to a Russian web server is just the latest oddity to spring from last weekend's violent alt-right protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, Va.
Anglin, a neo-Nazi, founded the Daily Stormer in 2013, and quickly found an audience for its word salad of racism, antisemitism and irreverent hate.
"Propelled by the Trump campaign and a new focus on the 'alt-right,' the Daily Stormer is now the top hate site in America," the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups nationwide, reported in February.
Readers long appeared drawn to the Daily Stormer's various sections, which include "Race War," "Jewish Problem" and "Insight."
Traffic continued to grow in recent weeks, and by Wednesday, the Alexa web analysis service ranked the Daily Stormer as the nation's 2,344th most popular website.
That might not sound all that great, but consider this: The official Democratic Party website, Democrats.org, ranks 11,630th.
So all appeared to be well at the Daily Stormer until it offered its take on the death of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-0ld woman killed by a neo-Nazi who plowed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville on Saturday.
"Woman Killed in Road Rage Incident was a Fat, Childless 32-Year-Old Slut,” the Daily Stormer headline said.
That prompted GoDaddy, the giant web hosting company, to sever ties with the Daily Stormer, saying the website had violated its terms of service.
The Daily Stormer briefly reappeared, with Google as its web host, for a few hours Tuesday – until Google, too, decided it wanted nothing to do with neo-Nazis.
“We are cancelling Daily Stormer’s registration with Google Domains for violating our terms of service,” a Google spokesman told Business Insider.
Not to be ignored, the Daily Stormer quickly found a new home, registering with the Russian Network Information Center, or RU-CENTER, which is Russia's largest web host.
Yet there's nothing to see here, RU-CENTER spokesman Egor Timofeev told CNN in a statement.
"I should point out that registry is automatic, so RU-CENTER registers thousands of domains per day," Timofeev said. "If we figure out that the domain owner's work doesn't correspond to the legal system, we will act according to Russian web standard regulation," he added.
The Daily Stormer's new Russian home seemed destined to raise even more questions about Russia's repeated efforts to interfere in American affairs. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump, the Republican candidate. Two congressional committees and a special counsel are now investigating Russia's interference.
Now the president, Trump has repeatedly refused to single out alt-right activists and neo-Nazis as the instigators of last weekend's violence in Charlottesville.
But as word spread Wednesday that the nation's top neo-Nazi website had sprung back to life with the help of Russians, progressives started taking to Twitter to raise questions.
"What do @realDonaldTrump and The Daily Stormer have in common?" asked a Twitter user called Mike Moran. "Both need #Russia to stay in business!"
Meantime, an anonymous Twitter user offered a more serious take on the Daily Stormer's newfound Russian ties.
"The fact that Russia lost tens of millions to Nazis and hate them viscerally are hosting Daily Stormer shows they truly want to hurt the U.S.," that writer said.