After the recent arrest and indictment of Maria Butina, the 29-year-old Russian activist who allegedly infiltrated the GOP and NRA via her gun rights group The Right to Bear Arms, many news outlets compared the story to a “spy triller” or episode of FX’s The Americans. Samantha Bee concurred on Wednesday’s Full Frontal: “If the news is starting to feel like a bad movie,” she said, “it’s because, thanks to Maria Butina, it is!”
Bee recounted the details of Butina’s scandalous story. The other characters in the seemingly made-for-TV drama include her boss, Russian central banker Alexander Torshin, who suspected of funneling money into the NRA to push a pro-Russia agenda, and GOP operative Paul Erickson, with whom Butina allegedly began a romantic relationship. “With her focus on guns, sex and big money, Maria Butina caused every Republican she met to grow that tell-tale wet spot on the front of their pants,” Bee joked.
“This is why Russia hates America,” she continued, before concluding that the Butina story is more The Office than The Americans. “When their spies go to England, they sleep with Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan. When they come here, they have to do collusion with Kevin from Dunder-Mifflin.”
Butina attended numerous NRA events and worked with Erickson and Torshin to establish back-channel communications between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin – an activity Bee deemed a “waste of time.” “There’s no need for back-channel communications when they’re doing front-channel communications!” she exclaimed.
The NRA, known for its dramatic, anti-liberal videos, has been abnormally quiet since Butina’s arrest. To fill the silence, Bee decided to respond directly to the group “in a way they can understand.”
“You’re caught associating yourself with one Russian agent and you just disappear,” the host said in a mock video. “What gives? I dare you to make a comment. I challenge you to tell me how it’s American for the NRA to take money from foreign agents who want to see our democracy burn.”