Report: Leadership feud roils the NRA – POLITICO

Wayne LaPierre

The public feud between NRA president Oliver North and executive vice president Wayne LaPierre (above) comes as the organization hosts its annual convention. | Scott Olson/Getty Images


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Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president, claims in a letter that Oliver North, the organization’s president, is extorting and pressuring him to resign.

“Delivered by a member of our Board on behalf of his employer, the exhortation was simple: resign or there will be destructive allegations made against me and the NRA,” LaPierre said in a letter first reported Friday by The Wall Street Journal. “Alarmed and disgusted, I refused the offer.”

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LaPierre said that he received a letter from North, who threatened to release a “devastating account” of the NRA’s financial status, allegations of sexual harassment and “accusations of wardrobe expenses and excessive staff travel expenses,” if LaPierre did not resign.

In a letter sent Thursday, the WSJ reported, North defended his actions, saying they were for the good of the organization, adding that he is forming a committee to examine financial matters inside the gun-rights advocacy organization.

The public feud comes as the NRA hosts its annual convention in Indianapolis. President Donald Trump announced there Friday that he intends to walk away from the 2014 Arms Trade Treaty, which regulates non-nuclear arms and aims to make it more difficult for human-rights abusers to use illicit weapons.

“As part of this decision, I will sign right now in front of a lot of witnesses … a message asking the Senate to discontinue the treaty ratification process and to return the now-rejected treaty right back to me in the Oval Office, where I will dispose of it,” Trump said in his address.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Mariia Butina, a Russian who infiltrated the NRA, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for conspiracy and for acting as an unregistered foreign agent. Butina tried to get Trump to meet with Kremlin-linked officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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