Russian politician claims he knows Trump through NRA connections: report

Russian politician claims he knows Trump through NRA connections: report
© Getty Images

A Russian politician with links to the Kremlin is claiming that his connections to the National Rifle Association (NRA) have given him access to President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Fallon responds to Trump: I'll donate to pro-immigrant nonprofit in his name South Carolina GOP candidate expected to make full recovery after car accident Official: US to present North Korea with timeline, 'specific asks' MORE, NPR reported Thursday.

Alexander Torshin, a former Russian senator and the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, has touted his connections to the NRA on his public, verified Twitter account, NPR reported.

In November 2015, he tweeted that he knew Trump through the NRA, citing a connection from the group's convention. He made the claim in response to comedian Larry David accusing Trump of being racist.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I know D. Trump (through NRA). A decent person,” he tweeted, according to NPR’s translation.

Tweets from Torshin, a lifetime NRA member, also document that he has met with every NRA president since 2012. He also tweeted that he was able to come to the U.S. as a foreign election observer in 2012 because of his NRA connections.

"I was there at Obama's last election! The NRA card, to me as an observer from Russia, opened access to any [polling] station,” he tweeted in January 2015, according to NPR.

McClatchy reported in January that the FBI was looking into whether Torshin illegally gave money to the NRA to try to back Trump’s presidential bid.

Torshin also reportedly spoke with Donald Trump Jr. at an NRA event in May 2016, but the two did not discuss Trump's presidential campaign. The pair spoke for a few minutes, CBS reported at the time.

Trump Jr.'s lawyer confirmed the interaction, saying Trump Jr. "was attending an NRA convention and having dinner when an acquaintance asked him to say hello to Torshin and made an introduction."

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Defense: Defense spending bill amendments target hot-button issues | Space Force already facing hurdles | Senators voice 'deep' concerns at using military lawyers on immigration cases Rubio heckled by protestors outside immigration detention facility MSNBC’s Ruhle fires back at ‘Fox & Friends’ over ‘propaganda’ about migrant children MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, told NPR that the panel should investigate any links to the NRA.

"I can't go into what we've been able to learn thus far on that issue. I can tell you it's one of deep concern to me and to other members of the committee, that we get to the bottom of these allegations that the Russians may have sought to funnel money through the NRA," Schiff said. "It would be negligent of us not to investigate."

The NRA and Torshin did not comment for NPR's report.