The NRA and one of its outside lawyers have responded to a McClatchy report that the FBI was investigating whether a Russian banker illegally funneled money to the group in an effort to boost Donald Trump in 2016.
“We have not been contacted by the FBI about anything related to Russia,” Steven Hart, an outside lawyer for the NRA, told McClatchy in a statement posted Tuesday evening as an update to McClatchy’s original story, which appeared January 18.
TPM reported earlier Tuesday on the gun group’s silence in the wake of McClatchy’s story. NRA Managing Director of Public Affairs Andrew Arulanandam, who is said to be handling media inquiries on the issue, did not respond to TPM’s repeated requests for comment early this week.
“The National Rifle Association has not been contacted by the FBI or any other investigative body,” Arulanandam said in a Friday afternoon email.
Two sources familiar with the probe told McClatchy that the NRA was probing whether Russian central bank official and Putin ally Alexander Torshin funneled money to the Trump campaign through the group’s dark money arm.
This post has been updated to include Arulanandam’s comment.