Alleged Russian spy Mariia Butina talked openly about her contacts with Russian intelligence officials when she got drunk, CNN reported Thursday.
According to people who knew her at American University where she attended graduate school, on at least two occasions Butina bragged about her Russian government connections after she had imbibed and even said the Russian government was connected to her Moscow gun rights group. According to CNN, classmates were unnerved by her comments and reported her to law enforcement twice.
Other classmates told CNN that in classes she was a constant defender of Vladimir Putin and claimed that she was a middleman between President Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.
Butina’s drunken admissions parallel those of George Papadopolous, a former Trump campaign official who spilled secrets to Australia’s top diplomat about Russia having dirt on Hillary Clinton while inebriated at a wine bar in Britain. That drunk conversation was what launched the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Butina was arrested in July after the FBI raided her apartment and was charged with conspiracy and acting as an agent of Russia. She allegedly spent years attempting to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and fostering relationships with high-level conservatives.
She’s pled not guilty to the charges, which her lawyer says are completely unfounded.