Business & Lobbying

Kasich adviser says he won’t lobby for Russia: ‘Apologies for the momentary distraction’


John Weaver, a top strategist on former Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s 2016 GOP presidential campaign, said Thursday he no longer plans to lobby against Russia sanctions after news broke the previous day that he had registered as a foreign agent.

Weaver was registered to lobby on behalf of the Tenam Corporation, which is a subsidiary of the nuclear energy company Rosatom that is owned by the Russian government, Politico reported Wednesday.

However, the political strategist tweeted Thursday that his lawyer had contacted Tenam to reject the lobbying agreement, saying no funds were transferred and that he had not acted on the deal, calling it a “momentary distraction.”{mosads}

“I must reject this agreement. No funds were transferred, no actions taken. Now, I’ve got to get back to the barricades. Apologies for the momentary distraction,” Weaver wrote.

Politico reported that Weaver was previously slated to lobby Congress and the Trump administration on “sanctions or other restrictions in the area of atomic (nuclear) energy, trade or cooperation involving in any way the Russian Federation.”

Weaver, a vocal critic of President Trump since the 2016 campaign, sought to explain his decision in a series of tweets on Wednesday night. He said he was approached to lobby “sometime ago” and that the late Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) urged him to do this job, adding that “this wasn’t an easy call.”

On Thursday, in announcing his decision to reject the deal, he said that lobbying on the issue was still important to him.

“I fear the dangers of nuclear proliferation & know a stable uranium market is important to the USA’s national & economic security — & experts urged this,” he wrote.

However, he added that he is focused on the 2020 election and defeating Trump.

“To allow anything to distract from that is a mistake. And I can recognize a mistake when I make it,” he wrote.

Tags Donald Trump Rosatom

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