Somebody Just Dropped a Bombshell Report Linking the NRA to Russia
According to a McClatchy report, several prominent Russians were in contact with National Rifle Association (NRA) officials during the 2016 presidential election. The Russians included people in Putin’s inner circle and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Some of the Russians who met with the NRA were identified. Dmitry Rogozin, the former deputy prime minister overseeing Russia’s defense industry, and Sergei Rudov who lead the St. Basil Great Charitable Foundation (one of the nations biggest philanthropists) were among those who met with the NRA.
Alexander Torshin, a Russian banker, was also in attendance. Torshin is moreover a lifetime NRA member. The Justice Department is currently investigating whether Torshin funneled money through the NRA in order to support Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.
It is a crime to use foreign money to finance a campaign for office in the United States. Torshin has also been under investigation for several years in Spain on accusations of money laundering for the Russian mob. Torshin was personally subject to sanctions imposed in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The meetings reportedly took place over dinner primarily in Moscow during the 2016 campaign. The NRA took a photograph of one such meeting in 2015. In it, Rogozin, Rudov, and Torshin are all seen meeting with NRA officials who were on a trip to Moscow.
As these meetings were underway, Russian hackers were actively attacking the United States by interfering in the presidential election. Investigators are trying to determine whether the NRA meetings were part of a larger scheme to interfere with the election in Donald Trump’s favor.
The NRA was Trump’s largest financial supporter during the 2016 campaign. The NRA began funding Trump’s campaign far earlier in the election cycle than previous Republican presidential hopefuls. Furthermore, the NRA spent over $30 million trying to get Trump elected.
By contrast, only 4 years earlier, in 2012, the NRA spent less than half that amount in support of the Republican nominee Mitt Romney.