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Johnson Says He’s Angry About ‘Apparent Scam Artist’ Butina

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The Republican candidate for South Dakota’s US House seat says he’s angry about an alleged Russian intermediary posing as a first and second amendment rights advocate who gave speeches across the state.
 
That speaker, Maria Butina, was arrested on charges of acting as a foreign agent without registering.

A tweet by Dusty Johnson almost three years ago is making the political rounds. In it is a picture of Maria Butina giving a speech to the Teenage Republicans Camp. He said in the tweet the kids loved her stories of working for freedom in Russia...
 
And that’s exactly why the congressional candidate is mad. He says it’s evident how far the Russian’s are willing to go to undermine America.
 
“The Russian government is not our friend,” Johnson says. “They’ve meddled in our elections. There’s ample evidence of that. They’ve meddled in social media platforms and apparently they’ve meddled in speakers on freedom as well. I’m angry that someone who held themselves up as a freedom lover, as an advocate of the first amendment and an advocate of the second amendment is instead, apparently, a scam artist and a liar.”
 
Johnson says Butina spoke for around 25 minutes during the camp presentation. He says she talked about the oppressiveness of living under the tyrannical Putin regime.
 
Johnson says now is a good time for Americans to come together to acknowledge that the Russians are trying to divide the country.
 
Butina’s ties to South Dakota extend beyond a speaking circuit. Butina, along with South Dakotan and GOP consultant Paul Erickson, filed paperwork to register the company Bridges, LLC. According to the Secretary of State’s website, that company’s status is delinquent – meaning they’ve failed to file annual reports.