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 McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Kim, Moon toss ball to Trump in ‘last, best chance’ for Korean peace GOP senator: Kavanaugh accuser 'moving the goalposts' 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 ManafortDem warns Trump: 'Obstruction of justice' to fire Rosenstein Ex-White House official revises statement to Mueller after Flynn guilty plea: report Former White House lawyer sought to pay Manafort, Gates legal fees: report 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.