Maria Butina is accused of being a Russian spy and trading sex for influence.
A former associate involved in President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign socialized and invited Maria Butina, a woman charged with operating as a Russian spy, to a Styx concert and his birthday party, according to a report by The Washington Post.
Emails, documents and interviews by The Post show J.D. Gordon, who served for six months in Trump’s campaign as a director of national security then took a job with the transition, exchanged emails with Butina and invited her to attend his birthday party and a concert featuring the rock band Styx.
Butina was charged last month with acting as a foreign agent for the Kremlin and infiltrating U.S. political organizations, including the National Rifle Association. Prosecutors have alleged in court filings that Butina, who founded a Russian guns-right group styled after the NRA, exchanged sex for access and a position in a special interest group.
Gordon and Butina exchanged emails in September and October 2016, just ahead of the presidential election, The Post reports. Gordon, 50, told the newspaper the whole Butina saga is “sensationalized click bait” in an attempt to “smear” Republicans she had contact with over the last several years.
Gordon previously worked as a spokesman at the Pentagon and on several Republican campaigns. The Post notes he wasn’t paid for his work on Trump’s campaign and both Gordon and Butin say the relationship between them was not romantic in nature.
The emails, as described to the newspaper, show the pair met at a party at the Swiss ambassador’s residence in September 2016.
In one email to Butina, Gordon wrote “we want to reduce hostility with Russia because, look, we have common interests.” He included a link of a recent appearance he’d made on RT, a Russian state-run news agency, The Post reported.
They went back and forth and he invited her to the concert and his birthday party in October. They didn’t have any additional contact after Gordon’s birthday party in October 2016, according to Robert Driscoll, Butina’s attorney.
Driscoll told The Post that the emails show only that his client was a student eager to network and there wasn’t “any significant contact” between the pair.
Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2LW4Dvb