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Depth Of Russian Politician's Cultivation Of NRA Ties Revealed

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A prominent Kremlin-linked Russian politician has methodically cultivated ties with leaders of the National Rifle Association and documented efforts in real time over six years to leverage those connections and gain deeper access into American politics, NPR has learned.

Russian politician Alexander Torshin said his ties to the NRA provided him access to Donald Trump — and the opportunity to serve as a foreign election observer in the United States during the 2012 election.

...These revelations come amid news that the FBI is investigating whether Torshin, the deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, illegally funneled money to the NRA to assist the Trump campaign in 2016, McClatchy reported in January.

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NRA, Russia and Trump: How 'dark money' is poisoning American democracy

 

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It has been widely reported that a vast amount of Russian money is tied up in President Donald Trump's assets and business interests — interests which Trump, breaking with longstanding precedent, refused to divest or put into a blind trust upon assuming office. Recent reports have shown that money continues to move into Trump-branded properties from obscured sources like anonymous LLCs and shell companies.

...in the case of the NRA, the FBI is now investigating whether illicit funds were spent in support of Trump's political campaign. We have long warned that our broken system of campaign finance disclosure creates opportunities for foreign governments to illegally influence American elections, undetected.

The NRA is among the largest "dark money" organizations, reporting the greatest amount of campaign spending without revealing the source of the funds — over $35 million in the 2016 election cycle alone. Still, this amount was just a fraction of the over $175 million in reportedcampaign-related spending that came from unknown sources.

 

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Smart move by the Russians.  The NRA crowd has to be one of the easiest to influence.  Look at how scared they were of a teenager speaking about gun violence and laws.

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