The National Rifle Association acknowledged that it accepts foreign donations but says it does not use them for election work — even as federal investigators look into the role the NRA might have played in Russia’s attack on the 2016 election. Pressure on the organization has also been increased by a McClatchy report that suggested that the FBI had been investigating whether a top Russian banker with Kremlin ties illegally funneled money to the NRA to aid Donald Trump’s campaign for president. The Federal Election Commission has also opened a preliminary investigation into this question.
The NRA is not required to be transparent about how money moves among its various political entities, and this leaves questions unanswered about how these foreign funds were ultimately spent.
In the context of ongoing investigations, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, wrote to the NRA earlier this month asking, “Can you categorically state that your organizations have never, wittingly or unwittingly, received any contributions from individuals or entities acting as conduits for foreign entities or interests?”
The NRA said it does receive foreign money but not for election purposes.