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Accused Russian Spy Maria Butina Used NRA-Style Rhetoric to Connect With American Conservatives

Maria Butina in Moscow in 2013. [AP Photo]

The federal indictment of the accused Kremlin spy Maria Butina lays out how the 29-year-old operative infiltrated groups like the National Rifle Association in an attempt to push U.S. politics in a more Russia-friendly direction. American conservatives and Republicans, she told an American associate in an exchange recounted in an FBI affidavit, have been “traditionally associated with negative and aggressive foreign policy, especially with regards to Russia.” Her mission was to change that attitude.

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