News & Politics

Fox News Sheriff's NRA Trip to Moscow Is Raising Eyebrows on the House Intel Committee

A new report finds David Clarke met with a Putin deputy in late 2015.

Photo Credit: Twitter

The National Rifle Association — one of Donald Trump’s strongest campaign backers — sent a delegation to Moscow in late 2015 to meet with a Vladimir Putin deputy who believes Alaska rightfully belongs to Russia.

Meeting with Dmitry Rogozin — head of Russia’s defense industry and a target of U.S. sanctions since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 — would not have been illegal, as long as no business was conducted, but does raise new questions about Team Trump’s ties to the Kremlin, reported The Daily Beast.

The meeting, which had not been previously reported in American media, has raised eyebrows among House Intelligence Committee members investigating the alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

“Russia is not America’s friend, and it’s stunning to hear that while they were attacking our democracy, one of the largest organizations supporting Trump was cozying up with a sanctioned Russian in Moscow,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who serves on the House panel that oversees the CIA.

The NRA had previously objected to U.S. sanctions that blocked the import of Russian-made guns, but David Keene — the former NRA president and current board member — insisted those sanctions never came up during the trip to Moscow.

“Rogozin is chairman of the Russian Shooting Federation and his Board hosted a tour of Federation HQ for us while we were there,” Keene told The Daily Beast. “It was non-political. There were at least 30 in attendance and our interaction consisted of thanking him and his Board for the tour.”

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, expressed doubts about Keene’s claims.

“It is disconcerting that they would be meeting [with a Russian official] about anything given their vocal support of the president,” Quigley said. “Due to the NRA’s opposition to sanctions, it defies credulity that they wouldn’t have discussed sanctions and their extraordinary support for Donald Trump’s campaign.”

The delegates mostly refused to tell The Daily Beast who paid for their trip, but one of them — Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a Fox News favorite and Trump supporter — was required to file public disclosure forms for his visit to Russia.

“Rogozin is chairman of the Russian Shooting Federation and his Board hosted a tour of Federation HQ for us while we were there,” Keene told The Daily Beast. “It was non-political. There were at least 30 in attendance and our interaction consisted of thanking him and his Board for the tour.”

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, expressed doubts about Keene’s claims.

“It is disconcerting that they would be meeting [with a Russian official] about anything given their vocal support of the president,” Quigley said. “Due to the NRA’s opposition to sanctions, it defies credulity that they wouldn’t have discussed sanctions and their extraordinary support for Donald Trump’s campaign.”

The delegates mostly refused to tell The Daily Beast who paid for their trip, but one of them — Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a Fox News favorite and Trump supporter — was required to file public disclosure forms for his visit to Russia.

 

 

Travis Gettys is an editor for Raw Story. 

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