ThinkProgress recently reported on a series of interviews and documents that explore the relationship between Russia and the Religious Right. The correlation between the two was first mentioned by Glenn Simpson, the researcher of the Russian/Trump dossier, in a congressional hearing last year.
Simpson said, “I would say broadly speaking, it appears that the Russian operation was designed to infiltrate conservative organizations. They targeted various conservative organization, religious and otherwise, and they seem to have made a very concerted effort to get in the [National Rifle Association].”
One of those conservative connections targeted by the Russians was Allan Carlson, a conservative family policy historian that worked with the Reagan administration. He was contacted by Anatoly Antonov in the early 1990s and asked to speak with policy-makers in Russia. The two went on to form the World Congress of Families (WCF), a joint Russian-American anti-LGBTQ group.
Another connection came when G. Kline Preston IV was traveling Russia in the 80s and 90s importing Vodka to pay his way through law school and reveling in the reemergence of religion in the country. Preston befriended Alexander Torshin during his travels and served as the point of contact between Troshin and the NRA.
Franklin Graham even jumped on the Russian train posting a photo of him shaking hands with Putin in 2015. Graham even attempted to have a “World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians” held in Moscow.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that Russia has been playing the long game, and Trump is merely another pawn.
Read more about the conservative Christian and Russian collaborations, “Russians and the American right started plotting in 1995. We have the notes from the first meeting.” written by Casey Michel posted by Thinkprogress on June 19, 2018