Quantcast
Connect with us

Russian spy Maria Butina details how she played Republicans and conservative groups on behalf of Kremlin

Published

on

Accused Russian spy Maria Butina revealed she was cooperating with U.S. investigators when she pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges.

The 30-year-old Russian national pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of conspiring to act as an agent for the Russian government in the United States.

Butina, a former graduate student at American University in Washington, D.C., cultivated close ties to the National Rifle Association and the conservative movement.

ADVERTISEMENT

She admitted to conspiring with Republican operative Paul Erickson and a Russian official, believed to be banker Alexander Torshin, to establish unofficial links between political figures in the U.S. and Russia that would benefit the Kremlin.

Torshin reportedly sought a meeting between Russian president Vladimir Putin and then-GOP candidate Donald Trump, and he met with Donald Trump Jr. in May 2016 at an NRA dinner in Louisville, Kentucky.

Court documents show Butina worked to established ties with both the NRA and the Republican Party, and she helped set up a visit to Moscow by NRA members in December 2015.

She also organized a Russian delegation to the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington and hosted “friendship dinners” to establish closer ties to American conservatives and Russian officials.

Butina can also be seen on video asking then-candidate Trump about U.S. sanctions against Russia during a July 2015 Freedom Festival event in Las Vegas.

ADVERTISEMENT

Prosecutors during the plea hearing said Butina’s cooperation was “ongoing.”

She will remain jailed until her sentencing, and Butina faces deportation after serving a prison term.

ADVERTISEMENT

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump’s latest national security adviser is undercutting FBI Director Wray to quash report of new Russian meddling: report

Published

on

In a scorching column for the Daily Beast, historian David Rothkopf accused Donald Trump's latest national security director, Robert O'Brien, of undercutting the United States intelligence services and uses his comments about recent reports of new Russian election meddling to make the case that he is contradicting FBI Director Christopher Wray to please the president.

According to Rothkopf, "For just over a century, since America arrived as a major force on the global stage, we have feared that should our enemies defeat us, it would be on the battlefield or via a devastating nuclear onslaught. We never could have imagined that an enemy might take another approach altogether: infecting us with a presidential virus who this week gutted our national security leadership structures like a fish."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Decoding the Christian paradox: Evangelical historian explains how right-wingers ignore Jesus to support a corrupt and greedy president

Published

on

To quote the bumper sticker: "What would Jesus do?"

Assuming that he existed and held the views imputed to him, Jesus Christ would not support Donald Trump.

Donald Trump's behavior, values, policies and their consequences are the opposite of what Jesus Christ represented. Trump has put migrants and refugees in cages and delighted in their suffering. He feels contempt for the poor, the sick, the vulnerable and the needy. He has lied at least 16,000 times. He is corrupt and wildly greedy.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

America could be on the verge of a huge shift to the left — here’s what you can expect

Published

on

By

A new socialist movement is cohering in the US, thanks in large part to the popular class politics of Bernie Sanders. But as that movement grows and progresses, it is bound to run into dangerous obstacles and thorny contradictions. The new US socialist movement is without a single "line" or monolithic political position. That's a strength of the movement, since none of us has all the answers. Still, many people in the movement, ourselves included, feel strongly about certain approaches to strategy. One approach we feel strongly about is what we call "the democratic road to socialism," or the idea that we need to make good use of the democratic structures and processes available to us (and to improve and expand them) in order to advance our cause.A country like the United States has both a well-developed capitalist state, beholden to the capitalist class and armed to the teeth, and mechanisms for democratic participation in that state that allow people to exercise some measure of control over their representatives. Even though their choices are limited, their representatives are bought off by the rich, and the capitalist class holds the entire system hostage with the threat of devastating economic retaliation if things don't go their way, the system does have some basic democratic elements that its citizens largely affirm and occasionally participate in.This is a tricky situation to navigate. If the democratic capitalist state were less developed, it might be possible to convince people to simply storm the gates, tear up the old rules, and start fresh in a socialist society. This is what socialists tried to do in Russia in 1917: the state was weak and after centuries of autocratic rule it didn't have much legitimacy in the eyes of most Russians, so revolutionaries could get popular support for scrapping it and starting over.
Continue Reading
 
 
close-image