Left-wing conspiracy site claims Russia used NRA to ‘smuggle money to Trump and the Republicans’

On Sunday, the official Twitter account of the far-left anti-Trump site Palmer Report claimed that Russia used the National Rifle Association (NRA) to “smuggle money to Trump and the Republicans.”

“There’s more to the story of Russia using the NRA to smuggle money to Trump and the Republicans. Much more. It’s coming,” the tweet read.

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What story might this be?  We’re not certain, as a Google search provided no results.

Newsweek, however, reported Sunday that a member of the NRA with Russian ties “reportedly invited Donald Trump to the Kremlin by request of President Vladimir Putin last year in a bid to set up a meeting between the candidate and Russian leader before the election.”

That’s a far cry from Russia using the NRA to smuggle money, but facts don’t seem to matter much these days where Russia is concerned.

According to Newsweek:

The email containing the proposal — sent from the NRA operative to the campaign —  was described to The New York Times after being handed over to Congressional investigators as part of their investigation into the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.

In a May 2016 email with the subject “Kremlin Connection,” NRA member Paul Erickson asked campaign advisor Rick Dearborn to seek then-Senator Jeff Sessions’ guidance on how to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin. He said Russia would try to make the first move at the pro-gun group’s annual convention where Trump was set to accept its endorsement, reports The New York Times. 

“Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump,” Erickson reportedly wrote. “He wants to extend an invitation to Mr. Trump to visit him in the Kremlin before the election. Let’s talk through what has transpired and Senator Sessions’s advice on how to proceed.”

Sessions, Newsweek said, was a foreign policy advisor to Trump at the time.

“The Kremlin believes that the only possibility of a true reset in this relationship would be with a new Republican White House,” Erickson continued. “Ever since Hillary compared Putin to Hitler, all senior Russian leaders consider her beyond redemption.”

In another post, Newsweek said that Erickson is “a longtime Republican activist who claimed to be an adviser on Trump’s transition team. Erickson is closely linked with a Russian woman named Maria Butina, a well-known gun rights activist who also worked as a special assistant to the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, Alexander Torshin.”

Newsweek added:

Butina has bragged that she helped connect the Trump campaign with the Kremlin, according to The Daily Beast, and it’s possible her statements were not just bravado. Torshin requested that Trump meet with him on the sidelines of the National Rifle Association’s convention in May 2016. He never met with then-candidate Trump, but he did succeed in securing a meeting with Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr.

Butina and Torshin are both lifetime NRA members.

Again, how does this translate to Russia smuggling money to Trump and the GOP through the NRA?

It doesn’t.  But then again, one has to consider the source — a site which claims that Michael Flynn’s deputy admitted that Russia rigged the election for Trump, that Robert Mueller forced Flynn to agree to wear a wire, and that Trump confessed to a felony.

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