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New details revealed about a mysterious Russian who funds Maria Butina’s defense

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Maria Butina, the Russian woman who’s alleged to have infiltrated gun rights and conservative circles to sway the outcome of the 2016 election, is still in custody awaiting her sentencing. She’s been in jail since July. According the Washington Post, Butina is cooperating with authorities.

Atlantic staff writer Natasha Bertrand dug up the source of funding for Butina’s legal bills, a 30-year-old Russian man named Alexander Ionov.

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Ionov is raising money for Butina’s defense through a group called the Anti-Globalization Movement. The website, peppered with glossy photos of Butina, purports to tell “Maria’s story.”

“Help me change my situation,” it reads in Russian.  Freelance journalist Dean Sterling Jones first unearthed the site and detailed Ionov’s history and potential Kremlin ties.

Writing on his blog Shooting the Messenger, Jones observes that the group that’s hosting the site for Butina’s legal bills got a Russian presidential grant of 3.5 million rubles (approximately $53,000) to bring members of Texas and California secessionist groups to a Russian conference in September of 2016.

“[AGMR] supports the full sovereignty of nation-states including the sovereignty of Russia as an independent player on the political, economic and cultural world stage,” reads AGMR’s mission statement, Jones notes. “The movement aims to promote all aspects of the national security and traditional moral values. It opposes the attempts to impose a ‘new world order’ and the disastrous unification, which might result in the emergence of a single mega-totalitarian world state.”

Ionov has denied working for the Kremlin. But he’s linked to the Kremlin in various ways, including holding a position on the public council of Moscow’s interior ministry. He also represented Russian hackers accused of promoting Catalonian independence from Spain.

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He recently defended Butina as a “human rights activist…who did not (collaborate) with Russian state bodies.”

 


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2020 Election

Republicans ‘anxious’ as campaign aides observe ‘a sudden alertness’ in Trump that he is losing: report

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Republican are growing increasingly worried about President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, according to a new report in Politico.

“I’d say Republicans are feeling anxious, and there’s a real sense of urgency for the president to precisely define his second term agenda. What are we running on? His answers on that have been lacking and he needs to show people why he wants four more years,” Scott Jennings, a top political adviser in the George W. Bush White House, told the publication.

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Trump campaign spokesperson pushes Mt. Rushmore meme that adds president to monument

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Would adding President Donald Trump to the famous Mt. Rushmore monument to four of  America's greatest president's make it better?

A spokesperson and Trump re-election campaign "Rapid Response" official seems to think so.

Just hours before President Trump is set to travel to South Dakota's famous 60-foot tall 80-year old carving, Abigail Marone posted a widely-circulated meme of the 45th President's image, not only added to Mt. Rushmore, but in front of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln.

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Katie Porter demands resignation of Trump small business chief for enabling ‘abuse’ of Covid-19 relief funds

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California Congresswoman Katie Porter is demanding the resignation of the Trump administration's small business chief for enabling "abuse" and "waste" of coronavirus relief funds and refusing to comply with basic government oversight efforts.

Porter's call came after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report last week that it "encountered the most difficulty trying to obtain information from the Small Business Administration (SBA)" during the process of examining the Trump administration's handling of the $650 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

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