Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors have reportedly expressed interest in the Trump campaign’s ties to the National Rifle Association and are probing its relationship with the NRA during and after the 2016 campaign.
“When I was interviewed by the special counsel’s office, I was asked about the Trump campaign and our dealings with the NRA,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide.
Mueller’s team wanted to know how President Donald Trump and his associates came to form a relationship with the gun-rights association and how he ended up speaking at the group’s annual meeting in 2015, just months before announcing his presidential bid, Nunberg said.
His interview with the special counsel’s team in February of last year provides rare insight into Mueller’s probing the Trump campaign’s ties to the NRA. CNN reports that the special counsel’s investigators were still raising questions about the relationship between the campaign and the gun group as recently as a month ago.
A person familiar with the special counsel’s questions to President Trump said that he was not asked about his ties to the NRA, which has come under fire for its massive spending in support of Trump in 2016 and its ties to Russian nationals.
The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, Ron Wyden, has pressed the gun-rights group for more information about its connections with Russian operatives. In a letter to him, the NRA revealed it had received contributions from more than 20 Russian nationals in the U.S. or people associated with Russian addresses since 2015.
However, the NRA stressed in its letter that the donations contributed to little more than $2,500.
The group further claimed that it had not spent any foreign funds for election-related purposed, but it did, however, spend over $30 million to back Trump’s candidacy.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the amount was higher than what the NRA had spent on all races combined – presidential, House and Senate – in the 2008 and 2012 election cycles.