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Breaking: NRA Admission it has Taken Foreign Money Raises Alarming New Questions

March 27, 2018

In Letter Response to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), NRA Admitted It Has Taken Money From “Foreign Individuals and Entities” “For Purposes Not Connected to Elections,” and Confirmed It Makes “Transfers Between [Different NRA] Accounts… As Permitted By Law”

NRA Response Prompted Another Letter from Sen. Wyden As FBI Reportedly Investigates “Whether Russian Money Went to NRA to Help Trump” in 2016, Even as NRA Denies It is Under Investigation

NEW YORK – In a letter response to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the NRA admitted that it takes money from “foreign persons only for purposes not connected to elections” and that it “makes transfers” between its different affiliated accounts “as permitted by federal law.” These revelations raise new questions about whether the NRA transferred foreign money into its accounts used for political spending in 2016, whether any funds were used for other activities that influenced the political debate and 2016 elections, and how the NRA puts to use the foreign donations it receives.

The NRA denied that any received donations were “connected with Russia” or “made in connection with U.S. elections,” but provided no information on how that determination was made.

Sen. Wyden’s congressional office noted that the “NRA failed to address questions related to financial expenditures that do not require Federal Election Committee (FEC) disclosure under current campaign finance rules.”

In a letter to the NRA sent today, Sen. Wyden requested “organization records, including records of accounts that received foreign funds and expenditures from those accounts ‘…for the production or distribution of information to NRA members or the public, including but not limited to, the production or distribution of information on digital platforms; broadcast platforms; print media platforms; and other printed communications (including mailed materials, door hangers, leaflets, and pamphlets).’”


“The NRA’s response raises far more questions than it answers, but it boils down to this: How are they spending this foreign money? Given the NRA’s many reported connections to people in Vladimir Putin’s orbit, they need to come clean once and for all about their ties to Russia.”


  • The NRA says it makes transfers between its accounts as permitted under the law. So, has the NRA made any transfers into the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) or NRA Institute of Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) accounts from accounts that have accepted donations from foreign individuals or entities?
  • The NRA said it found no “significant contributions from any foreign address or drawn on any foreign financial institution.” What specific amounts of money has it taken and from which foreign individuals or entities? Has it accepted “significant” contributions from foreign individuals through any U.S. financial institution?
  • For what specific use have foreign donations to the NRA been used?
  • What methodology does the NRA use to determine whether a donation is made “in connection with a United States election”?
  • In its response to Sen. Wyden, the NRA claims the “charter member” of its large donor program, the Golden Ring of Freedom, was attending the NRA’s 2015 delegation trip to Moscow “in his personal capacity.” If this was an official NRA delegation trip, how could that be the case, especially if the NRA’s Ring of Freedom program helped bankroll the travel of at least one other member of the delegation trip?

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