Russian banker said he met President Trump through NRA

The Russian banker under scrutiny for money transfers to the National Rifle Association said that the organization helped him meet President Trump.

Alexander Torshin, a deputy head of Russia’s central bank, is one of his country's strongest supporters of the NRA, even hosting dinners for an American delegation that came to Moscow in 2015.

A report earlier this year said that federal investigators were looking into whether his payments to the group were funneled towards Trump’s election as part of what Fusion GPS investigator Glenn Simpson said was a “very concerted effort” by Russian officials to get in with the gun lobby.

Further digging by NPR into Torshin's prolific Twitter use found that he also mentioned in December 2015 that he knew the then-candidate.

Responding to a tweet from a Russian journalist about Larry David saying Trump is racist, Torshin said “comics should make people laugh! Right? There he is trying! I know D. Trump (through NRA). A decent person."

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President Trump hosts business session with U.S. governors
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President Trump hosts business session with U.S. governors
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker listens as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (R) applauds as U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to hold a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as Washington State Governor Jay Inslee (R) engages him during a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump takes a sip of water during the 2018 White House business session with governors in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee (L) listens to participants as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Florida Governor Rick Scott and U.S. President Donald Trump cross paths during a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House policy advisor Stephen Miller (L) speaks with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker after U.S. President Donald Trump held a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump speaks during the 2018 White House business session with state governors in the State dining Room of the White House on February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Florida Governor Rick Scott listens to speakers as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump arrives for the 2018 White House business session with state governors in the State dining Room of the White House on February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller attends a business session with state governors hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room at the White House February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. The National Governors Association is holding its annual winter meeting this week in Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R), Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (2nd R) and fellow state governors stand and applaud at the conclusion of a business session hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room at the White House February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. The National Governors Association is holding its annual winter meeting this week in Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: State governors and members of U.S. President Donald Trump's cabinet attend a business session in the State Dining Room at the White House February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. The National Governors Association is holding its annual winter meeting this week in Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Torshin had said earlier that year that he saw Trump, who denies meeting Torshin, in Nashville, where the NRA convention was held in 2015, and that he has “traditional family values.”

Other tweets show Torshin, a lifetime member of the NRA who met with Donald Trump Jr. in 2016, talking about meeting top officials in the group including during the late 2015 Moscow trip that included Trump-supporting Sheriff David Clarke.

It is not illegal for foreigners such as Torshin to be part of the NRA or for them to give funds to the group, though it would break federal law for the NRA to use those funds for election purposes.

The NRA, currently under pressure for opposing even moderate gun reforms such as raising the age to buy an assault rifle, spent $55 million on the 2016 election, including $30 million for Trump.

Torshin has previously been accused of financial wrongdoing by Spanish officials who said he helped launder money for the Russian mob on the resort island of Mallorca.

Trump posted on Twitter Thursday that he had a “good (great) meeting” with the NRA.

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