One of the biggest obstacles for Democrats, especially in the battle for control of State Legislatures has been the powerful gun lobby group National Rifle Association(NRA). Unlike other powerful lobby groups that influence both the Republican and the Democratic Party, the NRA literally has a stranglehold on the Republican party. NRA’s stranglehold on the GOP is so bad, even President Trump recently had to ask GOP Members of Congress not to be “afraid of” the gun lobby group when discussing sensible gun control proposals. Marion Hammer, a powerful NRA lobbyist in Florida for example is so feared by Florida State GOPers, that she’s dubbed “The Real Gov of Florida.” Such is the power the NRA wields over the GOP
The troubling news therefore that the FBI is investigating the NRA as a possible vehicle for funnelling Russian money to help Trump in the 2016 elections should be of great concern to Democrats. New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni said on CNN’s Outfront with Erin Burnett that the NRA spent a whopping $30M to help Trump get elected, which is more than they spent the last two Presidential cycles combined. A Russian banker Alexander Torshin who has ties to Putin is an NRA life member and the key suspect in the alleged funnelling scheme. Torshin apparently wanted to create a “back channel” between the Trump Campaign and Russia and one of his associates reportedly told a Trump campaign staffer that “Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump.”(see YouTube video from 14:00 onwards)
Under normal circumstances this would be just another questionable daliance between a powerful U.S. gun lobby group and a foreign financier. However against the backdrop of an ongoing Special Counsel investigation into U.S. election meddling by the Russians, this strange relationship between the NRA and the Putin-allied Russian financier has become a much more serious issue, one that Americans trust Mueller and Co. will get to the bottom of.
It also bears pointing out, as New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni did that Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr, is a major NRA supporter and activist. Trump Jr you’ll remember is already in the middle of a very questionable meeting with Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower. Veselnitskaya has since confessed that she’s an informant for Putin’s Kremlin
Simply put, the NRA-Russia story is a major story that could affect the Dem political fortunes from here on out. According to CNN Political Correspondent Sara Murray, the NRA is privately, very concerned about the FBI’s investigation into its ties to the Russian Banker(vid at 14:00). Obviously we Dems have to be patient and allow the feds to conduct their investigation into the NRA but just like Trump used the ongoing Clinton email probe to hamstring her 2016 campaign, there is no reason why the DNC should not pummel NRA-allied GOP candidates over Russian money as we head to Midterms 2018, the perfect target being Sen Ted Cruz
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