(Photo of American evangelist Franklin Graham with Vladimir Putin.)
I swear this gets more troubling all of the time.
Courtesy of The Hill Reporter:
A cache of hacked emails revealed that a senior figure in the Bradley Foundation, a prominent financier of right-wing groups in the US, attended a gala alongside Russian oligarchs and officials shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014.
Among the 140 estimated attendees was Dan Schmidt, one of the Bradley Foundation’s Vice Presidents in 2014. The Bradley Foundation is one of the main financiers of right-wing institutions including the Daily Caller News Foundation, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Konstantin Malofeev, a Russian oligarch who has since been the target of U.S. sanctions, Alexander Dugin, a prominent Russian fascist, and Igor Shchegov, who was then working as an advisor to President Vladimir Putin, were also among the attendees.
Representatives from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), an American right-wing homeschooling group, also attended, as did Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission, and Janice Crouse, a former speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush.
Distributed Denial of Secrets released the emails as part of a package which includes communications between Kremlin officials and those charged with carrying out Russian efforts to interfere in U.S. politics.
The 2014 gala is significant as it illustrates a concerted effort from Russian officials to court the American religious right. Among the attendees was Sergei Rudov, who went on to host senior members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) during its trip to Russia the following year. Attendee Alexander Dugin, the high-profile Russian fascist who has previously called for Ukrainians to be “cleansed” and for the killing of protesters in Russia, is also acquainted with white supremacists in the U.S. like Richard Spencer and Matthew Heimbach.
Serious question, why would a home school legal defense group want to hobnob with Russian oligarchs?
As previously reported the NRA was also invited to fly to Russia, and they did.
Torshin is also heavily involved with The Right to Bear Arms, Russia’s version of the NRA—which has been wining and dining dumb Trump supporters like former Sheriff David Clarke with trips to Russia. pic.twitter.com/zfNRGCGRDK
— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) January 18, 2018
Courtesy of The Week:
The National Rifle Association is distancing itself from a controversial December 2015 trip to Moscow by several prominent NRA leaders and members, telling The New York Times on Monday that NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre “was opposed to the trip” and forbade staff members from going. LaPierre convinced the NRA president at the time, Allan Cors, to drop out of the trip, NRA lawyer William Brewer III said in a statement Wednesday, “in order that the group was not viewed as representing the NRA.”
“Given Mr. LaPierre’s power within the organization, it is unclear how such a trip would have proceeded at all despite his opposition to it,” the Times notes. And in fact, ABC News reports, “internal NRA emails and photos posted on social media” appear to show that the NRA “was significantly involved in planning it.”
“It’s not credible for the NRA to claim that they played no official role in the 2015 Moscow trip,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told ABC News on Tuesday. Wyden is heading one of at least four inquiries into the NRA’s ties to Russia, focused on whether the gun-rights group illegally used Russian money to help President Trump’s campaign and influence the 2016 election. The Moscow trip was organized by Maria Butina, a Russian who pleaded guilty to trying to help Moscow use the NRA to influence American politics, and former NRA President David Keene.
I think at this point it is reasonable to ask if there is anybody in the Right Wing NOT tainted by Russian money?