Michael Isikoff: Maria Butina ‘Kept Showing Up’ At GOP Events (Full) | Meet The Press | NBC News

f****** back it sounds like something ripped from a spy movie or a reboot of the Americans are young Russian woman accused of conspiring to influence American conservative Politics on behalf of Russian intelligence and where she had recently graduated with a master’s degree in international relations from American University on paper she was a student and a gun rights Advocate around campus for having pride in her Homeland and defending Russian interest in class discussion at the same time he was a covert agent funded by Alexander torshin a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin and at his urging investigator say she work to gain access to American political operative conservative politicians and political groups including the trunk and more importantly in this story the NRA of someone who has done a lot of reporting on beutner and Russian intelligence efforts in this area is Michael isikoff probably here in NBC News Michael go back to Meet the Press all right you are Facebook friends with Marie boutin entering the 2016 election as somebody who kept showing up at conservative political events CPAC conferences National Prayer Breakfast NRA meetings conventions she met with an r a leader when they went to Moscow and hosted them and it struck a lot of people as odd what is this woman doing here she was extremely flirtatious she tried to maintain contact with Allah influential Republican lobbyists activist she had this very close relationship with this guy Paul Erikson conservative activist in in South Dakota but what really got my attention was the Alexander torshin connection Alexander torsion who you mentioned SI is was a Deputy Governor of the Russian Central Bank he had was a close Ally of Putin and most importantly he was under investigation by the Spanish police for money laundering in fact he had these ties to this organized crime money laundering gang in Spain the Spanish National Police had them on wiretaps is Gang leader as El padrino The Godfather and they were all set to arrest him when he was going to fly into Mallorca for a birthday party he got tipped off and and didn’t go but all this time he’s flying in and out of the United States with booting meeting with NRA later leaders and Republican activist against her when she was going to flee I want to read this email it’s a bit it’s it’s it’s a bit that’s English but it’s in her words it’s an email that they put in there essentially explains I guess what her plan was it says here that they’ve she is discover the central place an influence and they refer to in the criminal court political party one meaning the Republicans play the gun rights organization Heroes the NRA is the largest sponsor the elections in Congress as well as sponsor of the CPAC conference and other event again a little bit of broken English there from her but this is all part of this plan it was an email she sent apparently I’m exactly and I was very Savvy inside the way the goal here was to change the Republican party’s attitude towards Russia traditionally hostile they wanted their was sort of the John McCain view of Russia is what they all Republicans who has more influence with Republican members of Congress especially then so the idea was abouna sets up this Russian gun rights organization to Alliance with NRA members and as a way of influencing the Republican Party if they live together in South Dakota and perhaps are they shared some sort of correctly it was sort of to get his here to flip on him about what he might know but I do think portion is the it is the key I think he’s the ultimate Target here he’s been sanctioned by the US think we should mention remember booting up for all these she’s doing didn’t one big service for the Kremlin July 2015 at the few weeks after Trump announces candidacy goes to Freedom Fest this libertarian event in Las Vegas and takes a question from the floor from boots what would be his position on sanctions that would better damaging right countries and Trump gives this full-fledged 5-minute answer in which he says if I’m elected you won’t need sanctions I know Putin I can get along with Putin in the Republican political debate at the time but very important for the Kremlin they had them on the record saying he would grow back saying like it been a long time couple of decades now let’s raise up to 30,000 ft you know we keep the focus Russia Trump angle you focus on the internet this this larger investigation to me known as what it looks to me like I’m a Russian infiltration campaign on all levels of the conservative movement in this country is that what happened exactly what seems to be happening this was every much as part of the Russian influence campaign as the cyber attacks as the phony Facebook ads the Twitter Bots all of that and I got to say one thing that’s really good dereliction of Duty on Congress is part why every major political scandal in the last half-century Watergate and Iran-Contra you-name-it public hearings by the Congress key Witnesses testified under oath before the TV cameras I’m here all behind closed doors including Boonton it by the way we should be seeing these Witnesses they should be called up Grassley and if I could call Michael Cohen up tomorrow right see it for ourselves it’s at a point and don’t forget it book can any of the videos over here to watch latest interviews show highlights and digital exclusive thanks for watching
Michael Isikoff, Chief Investigative Correspondent for Yahoo! News, joins Meet the Press for an exclusive interview to talk about his latest reporting on Mariia Butina and the NRA.
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Michael Isikoff: Maria Butina ‘Kept Showing Up’ At GOP Events (Full) | Meet The Press | NBC News

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