(CNN)Top officials at the National Rifle Association knew Russians were using their ties to the gun rights group to try to bolster their status with lawmakers or the winner of the 2016 presidential election, a new report from Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee shows.To continue reading the full article from its original source please click the link below.
In 2015, Russian national Maria Butina, who last year pleaded guilty to conspiracy as an unregistered foreign agent, tapped her political operative boyfriend Paul Erickson to help her convince a top NRA official to come to Moscow, according to the committee report made public Friday.
“Russia believes that high level contacts with the NRA might be the BEST means of neutral introduction to either the next American President OR to a meaningful re-set in relations with the Congress under a (God forbid) President Clinton,” Erickson, a GOP political operative wrote to Peter Brownell, the chief executive of a firearm accessories company and, at the time, the incoming president of the NRA. “This simple good will trip would have enormous diplomatic consequences for a future U.S. / Russia bilateral relationship to the world.” […]
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