New Report: “The Extent of Russia’s Use of the NRA as an Avenue for Connecting with and Potentially Supporting the Trump Campaign Needs Examination”
Report Also Reveals That Self-Described Go-Between Between Russia and Trump Campaign, Maria Butina, “Refused to Cooperate” with Senate Judiciary Committee
NEW YORK – Today, Everytown for Gun Safety released the following statement after Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee released a report stating they had “obtained a number of documents that suggest the Kremlin used the NRA as a means of accessing and assisting Mr. Trump and his campaign.”
STATEMENT FROM ANDREW ZUCKER, FEDERAL MEDIA RELATIONS DIRECTOR FOR EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“Add another log to the fire at NRA headquarters. For more than a year we’ve learned of alarming connections between the NRA and Russia. The NRA still won’t come clean on those connections, and until its leaders tell the truth about its ties to Russian money, the American people will continue to wonder what the NRA might be hiding.”
“Maria Butina – Ms. Butina is a Russian national living in the U.S. who has strong ties to the National Rifle Association and worked as an assistant to Alexander Torshin, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia. The Committee has requested an interview and documents related to efforts by Mr. Torshin to arrange a meeting between President Putin and then-candidate Trump and possible use of the National Rifle Association (NRA) by Russia to contribute money to the Trump campaign. Despite testifying before other Committees, Ms. Butina refused to cooperate.”
“The Committee has obtained a number of documents that suggest the Kremlin used the National Rifle Association as a means of accessing and assisting Mr. Trump and his campaign. Two individuals involved in this effort appear to be Russian nationals Alexander Torshin and Maria Butina. Mr. Torshin is a Putin ally and the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia,125 and Ms. Butina served as his assistant. She also founded Right to Bear Arms, the Russian equivalent of the NRA, and started a business with former Trump supporter and adviser Paul Erickson. Both Mr. Torshin and Ms. Butina have longstanding ties to ex-NRA president, David Keene, and in 2013, hosted him in Russia for a pro-gun conference.
“During the campaign, Mr. Torshin, Ms. Butina, and their intermediaries repeatedly offered the campaign back channels to Russia and relayed requests from President Putin to meet with Mr. Trump. The Kremlin may also have used the NRA to secretly fund Mr. Trump’s campaign. The extent of Russia’s use of the NRA as an avenue for connecting with and potentially supporting the Trump campaign needs examination. Requests for documents and staff interviews have been sent to Ms. Butina, Mr. Erickson, and Mr. Keene, but they have refused to cooperate.”