NRA says it has taken foreign money, but not for election purposes
© Getty

The National Rifle Association (NRA) said it has received money from foreigners in the past but denied ever using the funds for election-related purposes, NPR reported Tuesday.

Federal investigators are currently looking into the role the NRA might have played in Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

A McClatchy report suggested that the FBI was investigating whether a prominent Russian banker with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin had used the NRA to funnel money illegally to President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE’s 2016 campaign. There were multiple reports that the banker had tried to connect with the Trump campaign.

ADVERTISEMENT

The NRA is not required to disclose how money is transferred within their various political entities, making it tougher to get a clear picture of what their funds are used for.

The gun group has denied any contact with the FBI, yet they have faced pressure for more transparency about their finances.

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: GOP lawmakers offer election security measure | FTC Dem worries government is 'captured' by Big Tech | Lawmakers condemn Apple over Hong Kong censorship Lawmakers condemn Apple, Activision Blizzard over censorship of Hong Kong protesters Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg defends handling of misinformation in political ads | Biden camp hits Zuckerberg over remarks | Dem bill would jail tech execs for lying about privacy | Consumer safety agency accidentally disclosed personal data MORE (Ore.), the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, asked the NRA whether it received money from individuals working for “foreign entities or interests.”

“While we do receive some contributions from foreign individuals and entities, those contributions are made directly to the NRA for lawful purposes," NRA's secretary and general counsel, John Frazer, wrote to Wyden earlier this month. “Our review of our records has found no foreign donations in connection with a United States election, either directly or through a conduit.”

It is not illegal for the NRA to take money from foreign entities, but it is illegal for them to use such funds for election activities.

Frazer said that the NRA did get funds from companies based within the U.S. in 2015 and 2016 that were possibly owned or managed by foreigners. However, none of the people who gave money were connected to Russia, nor was any of the money provided used for election purposes, the NRA said.

The NRA has recently come under pressure after the student survivors of last month's mass shooting at a Florida high school began advocating for gun reform.

The students have criticized the NRA and politicians supported by the gun group.