Maria Butina, the 29-year old arrested last weekend and charged with acting as an unregistered Russian agent in the U.S., has been photographed with a considerable number of members of the Republican Party and the National Rifle Association. But a new report by Reuters shows that her efforts to influence U.S. policy on behalf of Russia went even further, including meeting top officials of the U.S. Federal Reserve and Treasury Department in 2015. The meetings were arranged by a pro-Russian Washington think tank called the Center for the National Interest, which also hosted an April 2016 event with then-candidate Donald Trump at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington that was attended by Russia’s former ambassador to the U.S., Sergei Kislyak.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.