Alexander Torshin, a Russian politician and Putin ally with close ties to the National Rifle Association, is one of the 24 Russians hit by fresh sanctions announced by the U.S. Treasury Department. As previously reported by The Daily Beast, Torshin hosted an NRA event in Moscow in 2015, and the FBI has looked into allegations that he funneled money into Donald Trump’s campaign through his friends in the pro-gun lobbying group. Torshin, the former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia, tweeted in November 2016 that he had become a “life member” of the NRA. The Daily Beast has also reported on Torshin’s close links to Maria Butina, whose relationship with Paul Erickson, a decades-long Republican Party activist, has raised eyebrows in the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. Butina, a former aide of Torshin’s, has been heard bragging that she was part of the Trump campaign’s communications with Russia.
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