This Trump-Russia-NRA Shit Just Got A Whole Lot Weirder

Almost two years into the Trump-Russia scandal, certain stories are still fairly opaque -- the United Arab Emirates/Saudi Arabia/Michael Flynn/Erik Prince thing, for instance. And then there's the Trump-NRA-Russia stuff! What the hell were Russians doing all up in the NRA, and were they funneling illegal money in the direction of the Trump campaign? Were they simply part of the mosaic that depicts how every Russian in Vladimir Putin's circle seems to be up Trump's ass, or is it even more curious-er than that? Who knows!

But McClatchy has a new story about that, exploring whether any of the record-breaking $30 million the NRA spent to "elect" Trump might have been laundered from Russian oligarchs/mobsters, so let's take a look:

Several prominent Russians, some in President Vladimir Putin's inner circle or high in the Russian Orthodox Church, now have been identified as having contact with National Rifle Association officials during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, according to photographs and an NRA source.

The contacts have emerged amid a deepening Justice Department investigation into whether Russian banker and lifetime NRA member Alexander Torshin illegally channeled money through the gun rights group to add financial firepower to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential bid.

We've gotten to know Torshin a lot better recently. He's a gun-humper dickbag, he's recently been sanctioned by the US Treasury Department, and he's under investigation for maybe laundering dirty Russian money into the Trump campaign. He's the "deputy director of Russia's central bank," and also a "former" Russian spy, and Spain has been investigating him for-fucking-ever, for money laundering. His Russian gun-humper group has been endorsed by current national security adviser John Bolton, and one time in 2016 he shared a can of Beanie Weenees at the NRA convention with Donald Trump Jr. (Allegedly! We don't know if Junior even touched his Beanie Weenees!)

Torshin has been on special counsel Robert Mueller's radar for a hot minute now.

Other influential Russians who met with NRA representatives during the campaign include Dmitry Rogozin, who until last month served as a deputy prime minister overseeing Russia's defense industry, and Sergei Rudov, head of one of Russia's largest philanthropies, the St. Basil the Great Charitable Foundation. The foundation was launched by an ultra-nationalist ally of Russian President Putin.

The Russians talked and dined with NRA representatives, mainly in Moscow, as U.S. presidential candidates vied for the White House. Now U.S. investigators want to know if relationships between the Russian leaders and the nation's largest gun rights group went beyond vodka toasts and gun factory tours, evolving into another facet of the Kremlin's broad election-interference operation.

As McClatchy notes -- and speaking of "vodka toasts and gun factory tours" -- a whole passel of NRA dickbags, including Wayne LaPierre and sadist loser former Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke, went to Moscow in December 2015 for a big happytimes gun-humper trip organized by Torshin's group The Right To Bear Arms, and on that trip they met with both Rogozin and Rudov. The trip just so happened to coincide with another happytimes fun trip to Moscow, taken by disgraced literal actual foreign agent Michael Flynn and disgraced whatever-the-fuck-she-is Jill Stein, for a luxurious gala thrown by RT, the Russian state propaganda TV network.

So, was money laundered for Trump? We dunno, we're just common warbloggers! We will note several things, though, that should strike you as odd. First of all, AIN'T NO-FUCKIN'-BODY IN THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TRYING TO GIVE RUSSIAN CITIZENS THE "RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS." So their collusion with the American NRA seems strange, yes?

Secondly, as McClatchy notes, the Spanish prosecutor who has been investigating Alexander Torshin, José Grinda, met with the FBI recently, and he gave them "WIRE TAPPS" of Torshin and a "convicted money launderer," name of Alexander Romanov, who calls Torshin "El Padrino," or "The Godfather." And what did Grinda say about those "WIRE TAPPS" just recently? "Mr. Trump's son should be concerned." Whoa if true!

One more thing we want to put on your radar here. There is a VERY WEIRD overlap between American evangelical types and Russian Orthodox religious types directly connected to Vladimir Putin, who views the re-churching of Russia as part of his grand master vision for restoring Russia to its former "glory," such as it ever was. Years back, noticing they were losing the gay-hatin' culture war here at home, American evangelicals started to go abroad looking for like-minded gay-haters, and they found sympathetic white souls in very high places in Russia. They even held big conferences together, including a 2014 "family values" summit featuring bigwigs from American "pro-family" groups like the World Congress of Families and the National Organization for Marriage.

We bring this up because we're starting to see some common threads. Sergei Rudov, listed above as the the head of the St. Basil the Great Charitable Foundation? As McClatchy notes, it was founded by a (sanctioned!) billionaire oligarch named Konstantin Malofeev, the ultra-nationalist Orthodox Putin ally alluded to above. Malofeev also helped throw that 2014 "family values" summit, where the Russians and the Americans got together to discuss taking their gay-hatin' feelings global.

We're not going to get into the weeds on this yet, but we have long suspected a BIGLY American evangelical connection to the Trump-Russia conspiracy would reveal itself, and seeing that a Putin-connected Orthodox oligarch who has also made alliances with American evangelicals is strangely also meeting with NRA people in Moscow while Putin eats borscht with Michael Flynn?


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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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