An interesting figure shows up in a 2013 video pushed by Right to Bear Arms, a Russian gun rights group with close links to the National Rifle Association: former U.N. ambassador John Bolton.
In the video, first surfaced Thursday by NPR, Bolton encourages Russia to follow the United States’ example and incorporate gun rights into the country’s constitution.
TPM has previously reported on the links between the NRA and Right to Bear Arms, which was founded by Russian banker and “lifetime” NRA member Aleksandr Torshin. The FBI is reportedly investigating whether Torshin illegally channeled Russian funds to the NRA on behalf of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. The NRA has denied any wrongdoing.
Torshin is a close friend of former NRA president David Keene. Keene asked Bolton to record the short clip, and had appointed Bolton to the NRA’s international affairs subcommittee in 2011, according to NPR’s report.
In the same year the video was made, Torshin attended the NRA convention in Houston with conservative heavyweights including Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, and Bolton himself.
Keene also traveled to Moscow that fall to speak on behalf of the NRA at the Right to Bear Arms’ conference.
Bolton’s involvement appears to conflict with his reputation as a vocal anti-Russia hawk. He is reportedly one of the candidates under consideration to replace H.R. McMaster as President Trump’s national security adviser.
Watch the full video below.