The NRA is closer to Russia than initially thought…
Back in early March 2018, Reverb Press reported on a startling story from NPR that disclosed the coddling of high-ranking National Rifle Association (NRA) members by Russian officials. Beginning since the 2012 presidential election, the relationship between the two groups primarily revolved around the Deputy Head of the Central Bank of Russia Alexander Torshin and various NRA presidents over the years, from Jim Porter to Pete Brownell.
Now, on June 11, 2018, a report from McClatchy DC has shed even more light on the monetary connections between the two groups, and they are worse than initially thought. See, while it was scary that the overseers of the NRA would become close to officials from a hostile country, it was not technically illegal. The real problem came from allegations that Torshin had sent money to the gun rights organization for the purposes of them then donating it to the Trump campaign. As citizens from foreign countries are prohibited from giving to a U.S. election under current FEC guidelines, this would be a major campaign finance violation.
So serious was this accusation, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI were reported to be looking into the matter in January 2018. Five months later, photographs and a source close to the NRA have informed McClatchyDC about a bigger group of top Russians that not only talked and dined with NRA officials, but did so in Moscow itself during the 2016 elections.
These elitists included the head of the St. Basil the Great Charitable Foundation Sergei Rudov and former Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Defense Industry Dmitry Rogozin. And though it would be easy to dismiss a dinner date as harmless, the fact that these meetings occurred during an integral election year featuring a presidential candidate who has strong associations with many people who are confirmed to have been in contact with Russian officials, it is not far-fetched to state that these encounters may have allegedly been more than just friendly conversations between friends.
The NRA is already in hot water these days due to their continued rallying against common sense gun reform despite over 100 mass shootings in 2018 alone. Student-led demonstrations and grassroots campaigns, organized primarily by Never Again MSD, have capitalized on the public anger towards the NRA, showing that most people do not agree with their stance on gun culture in the United States.
Considering the gun group’s decision to select Iran-Contra proprietor Oliver North as their President, it is not at all surprising that they would be willing to expand their political reach past the United States.