Speed Reads

The plot thickens

A Trump campaign aide reportedly interacted with alleged Kremlin agent Mariia Butina in 2016

Alleged Russian agent Mariia Butina, a gun rights activist who has been charged with conspiracy and illegally acting as an agent of the Kremlin, contacted a former Trump campaign aide named J.D. Gordon shortly before the 2016 election, The Washington Post reported Friday evening.

Gordon left his campaign role of director of national security for a position in Trump's transition team in August 2016. In the following two months, the Post story says, he exchanged emails with Butina, inviting her to events including his birthday party.

Butina's attorney and Gordon both told the Post the relationship was not significant. "From everything I've read since her arrest last month, it seems the [Mariia] Butina saga is basically a sensationalized click bait story meant to smear a steady stream of Republicans and NRA members she reportedly encountered over the past few years," he said in a statement to The Washington Times. "I wonder which prominent Republican political figures she hasn't come across?"