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Mon Nov 19, 2018, 08:21 PM

Maria Butina and her colleagues guessed that guns would be their ticket into Republican politics

The NRA Got Played by Russia (from GQ Magazine)

Maria Butina and her colleagues guessed that guns would be their ticket into Republican politics. They were right.

Given how accustomed we've become to linking the Kremlin's election meddling with Donald Trump's presidential campaign, one of the most startling details about the odyssey of Maria Butina, the 29-year-old Russian "gun-rights activist" arrested on espionage charges this week, is that she was working to infiltrate conservative circles well before Trump announced his presidential bid. The fascinating tick-tocks of her work at BuzzFeed News, among others, are peppered with some of the most recognizable names in the GOP: Scott Walker, Rick Santorum, John Bolton, Bobby Jindal, Donald Trumps Sr. and Jr., and multiple presidents of the NRA, who saw Butina as a kindred spirit—and, thus, as someone whose motives they had no reason to question.

Some of her best lines, in retrospect, are surgically precise. She spoke eloquently about her desire to import American freedom to her home country, and about Christianity's resurgence in Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. She told evangelical radio hosts about being raised in a hunting family, and compared her native Siberia to rural U.S. states in which guns, whether for subsistence or self-defense or both, are an indispensable part of daily life. She was an enthusiastic participant at libertarian-themed festivals and helped to assemble a Russian contingent that attended the National Prayer Breakfast. Meanwhile, according to charges filed against her, Butina was setting Elizabeth Jennings–esque honeytraps for some of her admirers, all in the service of using her newfound bona fides to embed a pro-Russian ethos in mainstream conservative thought.

Again, in retrospect, the warning signs were there for anyone who cared to look. As BuzzFeed News notes, in an autocracy with strict gun laws, the very idea of a strong grassroots analogue to the NRA is kind of absurd. But what Butina and her colleagues deduced is that the American right's blind, dogmatic devotion to protecting the Second Amendment would allow them to set aside any nagging misgivings about joining forces with her, if such misgivings even occurred to them in the first place. Put differently: A hostile foreign government scrutinized every aspect of American life and concluded that guns were the perfect access point for them to slip in undetected.

Read the rest of the article here: https://www.gq.com/story/maria-butina-russia-nra

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Reply Maria Butina and her colleagues guessed that guns would be their ticket into Republican politics (Original post)
Mrs. Overall Nov 2018 OP
ck4829 Nov 2018 #1

Response to Mrs. Overall (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 08:28 PM

1. 2032 Election: Keevlorx the Alien Overlord from Alpha Centauri wants to reform Earth into

his home planet to make it suitable for an alien invasion a hundred years from now... He also supports guns more than any other politician and eating the young of your enemies.

Keevlorx would win the Republican nomination.

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