A 29-year-old gun-rights activist served as a covert Russian agent while living in Washington, gathering intelligence on American officials and political organizations and working to establish back-channel lines of communications for the Kremlin, federal prosecutors charged Monday.
The announcement of the arrest of Maria Butina came just hours after President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and just days after special counsel Robert Mueller charged 12 Russian intelligence officials with directing a sprawling hacking effort aimed at swaying the 2016 election.
In the meantime, the fallout continues for President Trump after he sided with Putin in disputing the findings by US intelligence that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election.
With files from the Associated Press
With guest host Libby Denkmann
Ronald Neumann, American diplomat who served as the United States Ambassador to Afghanistan (2005–2007), Bahrain (2001–2004) and Algeria (1994–1997); president of the American Academy of Diplomacy, a non-partisan organization of former senior diplomats that aim to strengthen American diplomacy