Federally indicted Russian spy spent time in Wisconsin, met Gov. Walker
Posted July 17, 2018 12:27 p.m. EDT
07/16/2018 — WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Does Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have ties to a Russian agent?
His opponents say "a picture is worth a thousand words"
The photo was taken during the Governor's presidential campaign in 2015. The photo has been spreading after 29-year-old Maria Butina's federal indictment and the governor is firing back.
Butina was arrested in Washington DC Sunday. The federal indictment says Butina is a spy and as part of a Russian gun group with ties to the NRA, she would "exploit personal connections" with politicians "for the purpose of influencing their views."
She has also been pictured with former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.
The Washington Post says she hosted NRA activists including former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke in Moscow in 2015.
On Butina's Facebook page, she poses with rifles and pistols, but her online photo albums also show she was in Waukesha, Wisconsin where she met Governor Scott Walker at an event in 2015.
Democratic candidate for governor, Matt Flynn, says the photo makes him concerned about Walker's ties to Russia.
Flynn released the following statement:
"As I have said since the start of this campaign, Donald Trump is betraying our country to the Russians and it is destroying our democracy. Scott Walker has betrayed Wisconsin to the Republican donor cartel. Trump is the tip of the spear of Russian military intelligence. He is on the take and blackmailed by the Russians. It is more important than ever before that we have leaders who are ready and willing to stand up to Russia. We need a Democratic governor to protect our liberties from the Trump/Walker axis. When I served with the Sixth Fleet in the Navy, we stood up to the Russians. And we have to stand up to them now. I am ready to defend our state, our country, our constitution, and our elections from Vladimir Putin and the Russians as governor."
Governor Walker's spokesperson says he didn't know the woman and released the following statement:
"Governor Walker never had a meeting. Like other speakers at the event, Governor Walker appeared in an atrium area while waiting to deliver his remarks, where event attendees had the chance to say hello. There were thousands of people at the convention and many of them approached the governor and asked to say hello and take a photo with him -- just as people did at events today in Eau Claire, Sussex and Marinette."