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NRA Was 'Asset' To Russia During 2016 Election, Says Oregon Senator Wyden

President Donald Trump at the National Rifle Association annual convention in Indianapolis in April 2019.
Tia Dufour
/
Official White House Photo
President Donald Trump at the National Rifle Association annual convention in Indianapolis in April 2019.

The National Rifle Association’s dealings with Russia have been solely for the benefit of its leaders, according to a Senate report issued by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden

President Donald Trump at the National Rifle Association annual convention in Indianapolis in April 2019.
Credit Tia Dufour / Official White House Photo
/
Official White House Photo
President Donald Trump at the National Rifle Association annual convention in Indianapolis in April 2019.

The document outlines contacts between the NRA and Russia, including a 2015 trip to Moscow funded by the group.  The NRA’s vice-president at the time was reportedly enticed with business opportunities.  And the NRA underwrote political access for two Russian nationals repeatedly, despite their announced ties to the Kremlin.

Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden in KLCC studios.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
/
KLCC
Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden in KLCC studios.

“These NRA insiders who were enriched personally helped very influential Russian nationals get access to all kinds of influential American political circles" Wyden tells KLCC. 

"The NRA was essentially a Russian asset in the run-up of the 2016 election.”

Tax-exempt groups can’t use funds for administrators’ personal gain or activities outside their mission statement.

The NRA calls the report politically motivated, while Senate Finance Committee Republicans say it lacks merit.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Copyright 2019 KLCC

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Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.