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The Daily BeastJul 17, 2018
Russia's Plan to Buy Off the GOP Began Before the Rise of Trump
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastThere is no shortage of bombshell angles to this Maria Butina indictment, announced by the Justice Department on Monday just hours after Donald Trump helped make Russia great again in Helsinki.

There's the allegation that she was trying to arrange a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin in 2016, which the Times chose to emphasize. There's the bit about her relationship with the National Rifle Association, and how she allegedly sought to use or work with the NRA to expand her influence in American politics (The Daily Beast was the first to report on all this in detail, back in early 2017).

There's more. But I'll tell you what popped out at me as I read through the affidavit filed by the FBI agent in charge of investigating her. It was in paragraph 18, bottom of page 5, stating that Butina wrote an email to "U.S. Person 1" to suggest a plan by which she would work herself into the good graces of "POLITICAL PARTY 1." What popped out at me was the date. She wrote this email on March 24, 2015.

Washington Post PoliticsJul 16, 2018
‘Very much counter to the plan': Trump defies advisers in embrace of Putin
"Everyone around Trump" pushed him to take a strong stand against Putin over Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. He ignored the advice.

PoliticoJul 16, 2018
Trump-Putin meeting rekindles ridiculed cyber plan

The Daily BeastJul 16, 2018
Fox News' Chris Wallace Presses Vladimir Putin in Tense Interview After Donald Trump Gives Him a Pass
Fox NewsAfter President Donald Trump refused to confront Vladimir Putin over Russia's direct interference in the 2016 U.S. election, Fox News host Chris Wallace decided to do it for him.

In an "exclusive" interview with the Russian president that followed his private meeting with Trump and their shocking joint press conference, Wallace literally held up Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers and demanded an explanation.

Putin appeared to laugh in Wallace's face as he outlined the charges. When the host tried to hand him the stack of papers, the Russian president would not touch it, indicating that the host could place it on the table between them.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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