NRA executives and high-profile members have been thick as thieves with Russians Alexander Torshin, the Kremlin-linked banker, and his associate Maria Butina, the Russian spy who is sitting in U.S. federal prison charged with conspiring against the United States. Torshin and Butina wined and dined former NRA president David Keene in Moscow on a six-day trip in 2015, along with former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke and others.
That same year, the NRA featured Donald Trump as one of the main speakers at their annual convention, months before Trump launched his presidential campaign. A “billionaire” from New York City with no history of hunting or relationship with the NRA was a rather odd choice.
The NRA went on to pour $30 million into the effort to help elect Trump in 2016, nearly triple what they’d spent on any other campaign. Also in 2016, the NRA illegally coordinated with the Trump campaign on major ad buys in key markets, something they continued doing in 2018 in three key U.S. Senate races.
And now special counsel investigators are interviewing Trump campaign associates, interested in how and why the NRA and the Trump campaign became so entwined. Former Trump campaign associate Sam Nunberg confirmed the special counsel inquiry to CNN:
“When I was interviewed by the special counsel’s office, I was asked about the Trump campaign and our dealings with the NRA,” Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide, told CNN.
Nunberg told CNN that Robert Mueller’s office was questioning him about it as recently as last month.