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NRA Was 'Asset' To Russia During 2016 Election, Says Oregon Senator Wyden

Tia Dufour
Official White House Photo

The National Rifle Association’s dealings with Russia have been solely for the benefit of its leaders, according to a Senate report issued by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden

The documentoutlines contacts between the NRA and Russia, including a 2015 trip to Moscow funded by the group.  The NRA’s vice-president at the time was reportedly enticed with business opportunities.  And the NRA underwrote political access for two Russian nationals repeatedly, despite their announced ties to the Kremlin.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden in KLCC studios.

“These NRA insiders who were enriched personally helped very influential Russian nationals get access to all kinds of influential American political circles" Wyden tells KLCC. 

"The NRA was essentially a Russian asset in the run-up of the 2016 election.”

Tax-exempt groups can’t use funds for administrators’ personal gain or activities outside their mission statement.

The NRA calls the reportpolitically motivated, while Senate Finance Committee Republicans say it lacks merit.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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