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Russian arrested in DC for failing to register as a foreign agent.


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She has connections between the Kremlin, NRA, and the GOP, this Daily beast story from February lays it out pretty well.  Like who in the GOP circle isn't talking to Russians?

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/07/16/629531772/feds-charge-russian-graduate-student-with-conspiracy-to-violate-u-s-law

 

Authorities said Butina established contact with an unnamed American political operative in Moscow in 2013 who worked with her to arrange introductions to influential people inside the U.S. and to advance Russian interests. One of the contacts was with an "organization promoting gun rights," which NPR has previously reported is the National Rifle Association.

"I believe that Butina and the Russian official took these steps in order to infiltrate those groups and advance the interests of the Russian Federation," agent Helson wrote.

The FBI affidavit said she reported her activities to a Russian official via email, Twitter and other means. That Russian official is not named in the court filing but fits the description of Alexander Torshin, who was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in April

 

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-kremlin-and-gop-have-a-new-friendand-boy-does-she-love-guns

 

Depending on the audience, Butina has presented herself as a Russian central bank staffer, a leading gun rights advocate, a “representative of the Russian Federation,” a Washington, D.C., graduate student, a journalist, and a connection between Team Trump and Russia. She used each role to help her gain more high-level contacts in the nation’s capital.

It’s another chapter in what’s becoming a familiar story in Washington: Kremlin-connected operators building bridges to the GOP.

 

Butina’s relationships, formed with Washington’s conservative society through her fierce advocacy for firearms—one conference described her as the “public face of gun rights in the Russian Federation”—provide a previously unreported link between the Russian government and the Republican Party.

Two of Butina’s friendships in particular have raised eyebrows. She started a business with Paul Erickson, a decades-long Republican Party activist. And she served as a special assistant to the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, Alexander Torshin, a former Russian senator belonging to Vladimir Putin’s political party with alleged ties to the Russian mob world.

On Nov. 12, 2016, shortly after the election of President Donald Trump, Butina held a birthday party at Cafe Deluxe near American University, where she attends graduate school classes.

 

The event was a costume party attended by Trump campaign aides and Erickson, who told guests that he was on the Trump presidential transition team. She dressed as Russian Empress Alexandra while Erickson was dressed as Rasputin.

 

As chilled vodka flowed through an ice sculpture—a bottle imprinted with the Soviet hammer and sickle—she took some time to brag. She brazenly claimed that she had been part of the Trump campaign’s communications with Russia, two individuals who were present said. On other occasions, in one of her graduate classes, she repeated this claim.

“She said so in my class. And she said so several times in the last semester,” Svetlana Savranskaya, Butina’s former American University professor and a staffer at the National Security Archive, told The Daily Beast. “She is a former journalist, so she keeps up her connections in Russia. And she also works and [claims to] keep connections with a member of the Russian Duma.”

 

 

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8 minutes ago, 69los said:

 

This Butina is clearly not on Elizabeth Jennings' level.

Imagine the Americans if it was this easy to infiltrate their targets, and the only reason you were ever found out is because the Russians were too successful and got an idiot elected president, lol.

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Maria Butina, the Russian gun rights activist and political operative accused of being an agent of the Russian Federation in the United States, asked President Donald Trump about sanctions on Russia at an event in 2015. Butina, 29, asked the then-presidential candidate what he would do about those sanctions if he became president. Butina was arrested on a federal charge on Sunday and is being held in a D.C. jail.

 

You can watch video of that moment here:

 

 

Quote

At the 2015 event in Vegas, Butina told Trump, “I am visiting from Russia.” Trump then interrupted Butina and said, “ahhh Putin. Good friend of Obama, Putin. He likes Obama a lot,” to laughs from the crowd. Go ahead.”

 

Butina asked Trump whether he would keep in place the “damaging” sanctions on her country.

 

Trump responded, “I know Putin, and I’ll tell you what, we get along with Putin… I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin, OK? And I mean, where we have the strength. I don’t think you’d need the sanctions. I think we would get along very, very well.”

 

Butina Wrote in 2015 About How a Republican President Would Be Better for Russia

In 2015, Butina wrote an opinion piece in The National Interest in which she argued, “It may take the election of a Republican to the White House in 2016 to improve relations between the Russian Federation and the United States.”

 

In February 2016, Butina set up a company in South Dakota with Paul Erickson, a Republican political operative with ties to the NRA. Both Butina and Erickson were reported to be under FBI investigation in connection to Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to NPR. Erickson told McClatchy DC the company was formed in case Butina needed extra money for her graduate studies.

 

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Reminder: Prosecutor Said ‘Trump’s Son Should be Concerned’ About Wiretaps of Butina’s Alleged Handler

 

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has received wiretaps obtained by Spanish police which implicate Donald Trump Jr. in a plot to meet with Alexander Torshin, a high-ranking official of Russia’s Central Bank, according to a federal prosecutor in Spain. And, the prosecutor notes, those wiretaps don’t bode well for the president’s son.

 

The above information was originally reported in May of this year but is receiving revived interest across social media because Torshin is said to have been the handler of alleged Russian agent Mariia “Maria” Butina. Butina was recently arrested on charges of attempting to influence U.S. politics and policy on the Kremlin’s behalf.

 

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