As the murky ties between Moscow and members of Donald Trump's campaign consumed the city outside, the group dining inside the George Hotel explored ways to strengthen the bonds between the two countries.
"We have so many people who are trying to destroy the relationship between Russia and the United States," says Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, who attended the dinner and has visited Russia at least a half-dozen times over the past five years.
NRA allies say the group is happy to work with international firearms-advocacy groups to advance mutual interests.
The NRA forked over some $30 million to help elect Trump, about two and a half times the amount it shelled out on the 2012 election, despite his previous support for gun-control measures.
The crusade, which predates the rise of Trump, has garnered scant attention but achieved significant success, sparking new alliances with leading U. evangelicals, lawmakers and powerful interest groups like the NRA. During the Cold War, the Kremlin tried to forge links to the American left. It's no accident that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein scored a seat at Vladimir Putin's table at a 2015 banquet in Moscow for the state-sponsored propaganda outlet RT, or that RT hired former MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz, who boasts a fervent liberal fan base. Conservative Christianity has been one common touchstone.