It was just earlier this week that a woman by the name of Maria Butina was arrested and accused of being a Russian spy. Her links to the Trump campaign, several campaign officials and the NRA appear to be quite significant. While allegations are certainly not any determinant of guilt, the indictment brought by a federal grand jury appears to be very solid.
If you dig through the Facebook profile of this alleged Russian spy, you will find a lot of interesting posts about gun rights in Russia, President Trump and Russian politics. The most interesting post, however, is one that she made on the night of November 8, 2016 at 11:45PM ET, the evening of the U.S. Presidential Election.
It translates to say:
“Well that’s it. America gets a Republican Donald Trump for the next presidential term. Supporter of gun rights and restoration of relations with Russia. Congratulations to all!”
She then went on to say, “100%. Even if he loses everything else. He got the necessary number of votes.”
There certainly isn’t anything wrong with congratulating a presidential candidate on his victory, even if you are a Russian spy, but the timing of the post is at least a bit odd. The post was made well before anyone was able to say with even a near certainty that Trump would win the election. Although Trump’s odds of winning were certainly increasing, Hillary still had hope at this point in time.
Someone even replied to Butina’s post about 17 minutes later at 12:02AM ET, with an image showing that Trump was still 16 electoral votes away from clinching the Presidency, saying, “Maybe you have special math, but to win you need more than 270 electors. This hour is 254 to 209 and left 75 electors.”
While Butina’s post came at 11:45PM ET, it’s worth noting that it wasn’t until approximately 1:35AM ET that Trump really began to look like the winner. This was after he had clinched Pennsylvania and held 264 electoral votes. He simply needed to win Wisconsin, Michigan, or Arizona to clinch the Presidency. At 2:30AM he captured Wisconsin’s 10 votes, clinching the US Presidency.
While this does seem rather odd that someone who was allegedly so close to Russian intelligence, and also close to those within the Trump campaign, would claim victory for Trump 2 hours and 45 minutes prior to him actually clinching the win, this likely is nothing more than Butina using faulty mathematics to mistakenly believe that Trump had won.
Sure, Butina could have known, and some people may even say that she likely did know of Russia’s meddling campaign, but even if she did, that wouldn’t mean that she would be certain of a Trump victory, unless there is a piece to the puzzle that the public still doesn’t know.