'She Kept Showing Up': Author Isikoff Says Accused Russian Spy Was at Various Conservative Events
Maria Butina asked Trump a question at campaign event.
Journalist and author Michael Isikoff reacted to the indictment of a 29-year-old Russian woman who is accused of covertly working as a foreign agent within the United States.
Maria Butina allegedly offered to have sex with an unnamed American in exchange for a job, according to prosecutors.
According to new court filings, Maria Butina allegedly “gained access” to "an extensive network of U.S. persons in positions to influence political activities in the United States" by living with and having a personal relationship with another individual.
Prosecutors revealed the new allegations against Butina in documents filed Wednesday, as Butina pleaded not guilty and a judge ordered her held without bond in court.
Prosecutors had asked the judge in the case to keep Butina in jail before her trial, arguing she’s a flight risk.
“Butina is a Russian citizen with no meaningful ties to the United States; she has every reason to flee this prosecution,” U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu wrote in the court document.
Isikoff, author of "Russian Roulette", said Butina has been "on my radar screen for quite some time."
He cited reports that the alleged spy showed up at a Nevada event for then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, and "got him on record" during a Q & A session regarding sanctions.
Trump told the woman, "I don't think you'd need the sanctions" on Russia if he were president.
Martha MacCallum compared Butina to "a human expression of a bot or tweet" from a foreign entity.
"She kept showing up," Isikoff said, pointing to NRA events, a prayer breakfast and a Conservative Political Action Conference event reportedly attended by Butina.
However, Isikoff warned that the real "target" for prosecutors is Butina's assumed "boss", Aleksandr Torshin, a Russian politician tied to the Russian Central Bank.
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