The NRA paid $30.3 million to have Trump elected. The NRA’s support for Trump is unprecedented. The organization started backing Trump in May 2016, before he had even been officially named the Republican presidential nominee.
The Obama Administration, in March, 2014, blocked Dmitry Rogozin, a hardline deputy of Vladimir Putin’s, and the head of Russia’s defense industry, from entering the United States. This was retaliation for Russia’s invasion of the eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The same executive order banned imported Kalashnikov firearms, which the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action protested.
In September of 2015, the NRA, sent a delegation to Moscow that met with Dmitry Rogozin. The meeting with Rogozin, who is sanctioned by the U.S., is not illegal, so long as there no business transacted. So, why have a meeting?
The NRA had objected to U.S. sanctions that blocked Russian-made guns. However, David Keene, a former NRA president, who went on the Moscow trip, stated the meeting had nothing to do with America’s politics. As a 501(c)(4) organization, the NRA is not required to disclose its donors. (No transparency here.) Keene told the Daily Beast,
“Rogozin is chairman of the Russian Shooting Federation and his Board hosted a tour of Federation headquarters for us while we were there. It was non-political. There were at least 30 in attendance and our interaction consisted of thanking him and his Board for the tour.”
Apparently, Russia’s head of the defense industry, met with them, simply to give NRA reps a tour. Prior to the NRA’s meeting with Russian officials, the NRA’s legal wing said,
“We of course recognize the important role that enacting sanctions can have in furthering legitimate U.S. foreign policy interests. However, in this instance the extent to which these actions coincide with the stated domestic policy goals of gun control supporters is more than a little unsettling.”
It is illegal for foreign countries and citizens to donate money in U.S. campaigns. Should an Russian agent donate funds, by funneling them through the NRA, it would be very similar to money laundering. There is growing evidence that money coming from hidden sources may be influencing U.S. politics, by way of two paths. The first is through the President’s obscured personal finances, and the other is through secret contributions. Russian bribery and collusion may run much deeper than many people realize.
The FBI is now investigating the NRA for funneling money from Russians to the election. This violates U.S. election laws, which prohibits the use of foreign money in U.S. elections. In the last few years, the NRA has formed relationships with a number of well-connected Russians, which includes Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank.