BREAKING NEWS
CTNOW

Bobby Jindal

Before her arrest as an alleged Russian agent, Maria Butina's proud defense of her homeland drew notice at American University

Before her arrest as an alleged Russian agent, Maria Butina's proud defense of her homeland drew notice at American University

On a campus full of ambitious students aiming to land influential U.S. government and policy jobs, Maria Butina cut an unusual profile.

It wasn't just the outspoken conservative politics of the auburn-haired Russian woman that drew the attention of other graduate students at American University. There was also her almost zealous embrace of her homeland.

Butina's cellphone case was emblazoned with a famous photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin riding shirtless on a horse. She would buy friends rounds of vodka at the Russia House, the Dupont Circle restaurant popular with the Russian diplomatic set, sometimes challenging male friends to down horseradish-infused shots. She...

76°