Oops! Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina met with Obama officials in 2015

Desperate Trump-haters, searching for something – anything! – to show that the Trump administration is in bed with Vladimir Putin seized on the news a week ago that a young Russian named Maria Butina had been indicted for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), or, in the words of the DOJ, for "conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General."

Here at last was a face – and a red-headed female one, to boot – to attach to the charges of treason being thrown around by the likes of John Brennan.

So intense was the fever that their dream had come true that, as Bre Payton reported in The Federalist:

In the wake of Donald Trump's press conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, members of the media mistook a Trump administration staffer for a Russian spy.

Emily Singer, a senior political reporter for Mic, tweeted out a photo from inside the White House and claimed that Maria Butina, who was charged Monday for conspiring against the U.S. as a secret Russian agent, was among a gaggle of staffers inside the Oval Office.  She later realized her mistake and deleted the tweet, but only after it went viral.

White House photo, as modified by The Federalist.

Still, she did manage to ingratiate herself to the NRA and others supportive of Trump by posing as a "gun rights advocate" in Russia.  So maybe she could be pinned on conservatives.

But alas, it turned out that she was an opportunist who would meet with Obama officials if given the chance.  And she did.  TheBlaze reports:

Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina met with officials from the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve in 2015, according to a new report. ...

Reuters reported that Butina and Alexander Torshin, the former Russian Central Bank deputy governor, met with Stanley Fischer, then-vice chair of the Fed, and Nathan Sheets, then-Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, in separate meetings in 2015.

The purpose of the meetings was to discuss U.S. economic sanctions placed on Russia during the Obama administration.  The U.S. placed sanctions on Russia multiple times during the Obama years over Russia's involvement in Ukraine, its annexation of Crimea, and the Russian government's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

According to Reuters, the meetings "reveal a wider circle of high-powered connections that Butina sought to cultivate with American political leaders and special interest groups."

And John Solomon told Lou Dobbs last week that at that time, in 2015, he alerted the FBI to her.  Via Gateway Pundit:

I'll tell you a little story I've never told before.  In March of 2015 I observed her at several events and really cozying up to conservatives and making what I thought was a weak-handed case that she was this courageous gun rights activist going up against Putin and there would one day be a Second Amendment in Russia.  There's never going to be a Second Amendment in Russia.  I became very perplexed by her behavior and her efforts of going up to presidential candidates and congressional candidates.  So I started to do some reporting and I called FBI and US intelligence sources and very quickly I learned, "Yeah, we know that she's somebody here as an agent of influence.  She's connected to this guy Tortian (sp?) and we know what she's trying to do."  And I thought, that's really interesting.  Are they going to tell the people she's meeting with and it doesn't appear they ever did.  I thought the role of FBI counter-intelligence was to prevent contacts from occurring that are not in the interest of the United States.  It sounds like they sat around and watched this for three or four years until it was convenient to create a headline.

A set-up by the FBI?  Let's see – who was in charge of counter-terrorism there?  That's right: Peter Strzok, the man whose expert imitation of a man demonically possessed impressed so many observers.

Am I the only person who remembers another Russian red-head deep-cover spy named Anna Chapman?  She was uncovered during the Obama administration, in 2011, and was said to have used her good looks to entice various male officials into her bed and into security lapses.  And am I the only person who thought it reeked of a cover-up that she and her colleagues were rapidly traded for U.S. people arrested in Russia – without even an attempt to get her to spill the beans on whom she seduced for what intelligence?

Ms. Chapman has found work in Mother Russia:

Another dream shatters for Trump-haters.

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