AP NEWS

Accused Russian agent attended US Rep Sanford’s holiday BBQ

July 21, 2018

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina congressman says a gun-rights activist suspected of being a covert Russian operative circulating in conservative political circles attended a party at his coastal farm last fall.

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford tells The Post and Courier of Charleston that accused Russian agent Maria Butina was among up to 300 guests at a post-Thankgiving barbecue he hosted.

Sanford says Butina visited his Coosaw Plantation in Beaufort County with her friend Paul Erickson. Sanford says he’s known the Republican political operative since the two attended the University of Virginia three decades ago.

Sanford said he met Butina during the barbecue but exchanged few words with her as he mingled through the large crowd.

Butina’s attendance at Sanford’s shindig was first reported by CNN.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com

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