Former McCain, Graham aide hired to assist pro-Russia party in Latvia

Former McCain, Graham aide hired to assist pro-Russia party in Latvia

A former aide for both Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainControversial Trump judicial nominee withdraws Trump vows to hold second meeting with Putin Ex-Montenegro leader fires back at Trump: ‘Strangest president' in history MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Defense: Trump inviting Putin to DC | Senate to vote Monday on VA pick | Graham open to US-Russia military coordination in Syria Polling analyst: Changes to legal immigration ‘the real sticking point among Democrats’ Graham would consider US-Russia military coordination in Syria MORE (R-S.C.) is working for a pro-Russia political party in Latvia, according to BuzzFeed News.

The former aide, Christian Ferry, told BuzzFeed that he was hired by Nils Ušakovs, the mayor of Latvian capital Riga, to advise him and Ušakovs's Harmony party in the lead-up to elections in October.

Ušakovs has been mayor for nine years and his party holds the most seats in Parliament, but their perceived pro-Russia stance has made them outliers in national politics. 

Politicians in Latvia, which was once under the control of the Soviet Union, have largely been critical of Russia’s foreign policy. According to BuzzFeed, Ferry's work for the Harmony party is seen as an effort to help improve the party’s image as a pro-Russian party.

Ferry previously worked for the lobbying company owned by former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump eyes second Putin summit George Will charges that Trump colluded with Putin Mueller releases list of more than 500 pieces of evidence against Manafort MORE and Rick Davis and also worked for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in a 2014 popular revolution, according to BuzzFeed.

Ferry told the news outlet that he learned of the job “through a mutual friend” who was aware of his work on Latin America and that Ušakovs admired McCain and Graham.

Ušakovs has developed a position that is friendly toward the Russian government while also voicing positions that align with and support Latvia’s EU membership, BuzzFeed News reported.

Until last year, Harmony had a cooperation agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s party, United Russia. Ušakovs defended Putin during the war in Ukraine, calling it necessary to developing relations with Russia, BuzzFeed reported.