Russian Operative Maria Butina Says She Wasn't Part of 'Grand Giant Plan' - NBC New York
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Russian Operative Maria Butina Says She Wasn't Part of 'Grand Giant Plan'

Butina, 30, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, made the comments in an interview with National Public Radio, her first with a U.S. media outlet since her sentencing

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    Russian Operative Maria Butina Says She Wasn't Part of 'Grand Giant Plan'
    AP, File
    In this Sunday, April 21, 2013, file photo, Maria Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization in Russia, speaks to a crowd during a rally in support of legalizing the possession of handguns in Moscow, Russia.

    Maria Butina, the Russian operative who used her NRA activism to illegally infiltrate conservative political circles, says her only crime was not registering as a foreign agent, NBC News reported.

    Butina, 30, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, made the comments in an interview with National Public Radio, her first interview with a U.S. media outlet since she was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison in April.

    "I should have registered [as a foreign agent], which I didn't. And this is why the whole this thing got started," Butina said, according to portions released ahead of the Friday broadcast of the interview on "All Things Considered."

    "But that wouldn't be appropriate to say that this was all one grand giant plan, and I'm a part of some grand giant plan," she said. "There is no proof of that."

    Admitted Kremlin Agent Maria Butina Sentenced to Prison

    [NATL] Admitted Kremlin Agent Maria Butina Sentenced to Prison

    Maria Butina, who admitted she was a secret agent for the Kremlin, was sentenced to 18 months for trying to infiltrate conservation political groups.

    (Published Friday, April 26, 2019)