Gee, the Russians really were coming.
Courtesy of NPR:
Kremlin-linked Russian politician Alexander Torshin traveled frequently between Moscow and various destinations in the United States to build relationships with figures on the American right starting as early as 2009, beyond his previously known contacts with the National Rifle Association.
Documents newly obtained by NPR show how he traveled throughout the United States to cultivate ties in ways well beyond his formal role as a member of the Russian legislature and later as a top official at the Russian central bank. These are steps a former top CIA official believes Torshin took in order to advance Moscow’s long-term objectives in the United States, in part by establishing common political interests with American conservatives.
“Putin and probably the Russian intelligence services saw [Torshin’s connections] as something that they could leverage in the United States,” said Steve Hall, a retired CIA chief of Russian operations. “They reach out to a guy like Torshin and say, ‘Hey, can you make contact with the NRA and some other conservatives … so that we can have connectivity from Moscow into those conservative parts of American politics should we need them?’ And that’s basically just wiring the United States for sound, if you will, in preparation for whatever they might need down the road.”
Apparently part of their attempts to court conservatives was to open the conversation with their shared dislike for gay people.
Torshin’s attempted to meet with our favorite half-term governor, Sarah Palin, back in 2009:
Torshin’s earliest known visit to the United States was in 2009, when he requested a meeting with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin — a request that has never before been reported.
An email from the former Alaska governor’s archives, released due to a public records request from activist Andree McLeod and posted online en masse by then-Alaska Dispatch News reporter Richard Mauer, shows how Torshin made the approach through the Russian ambassador to the U.S., who was then Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
An aide wrote to Palin in May of 2009: “You had received a request to call the Russian Ambassador regarding a proposed visit by Mr. Alexander Torshin… Torshin will be visiting Alaska on June 6, 2009 and we have asked the Lt. Governor to meet with him.” Neither the Russian Embassy nor Palin responded to a request for comment.
Here is a copy of that email.
Which you can also see here.
Gee, if Palin had only played her cards right, perhaps Putin would have helped to put HER into the White House instead of Donald Trump.
Or did perhaps certain “lamestream” media types and bloggers help to put the kibosh on those plans?