A charismatic Russian woman arrives in the US on a mission to improve relations between the two countries, and she soon makes some powerful friends. But who is Maria Butina? And who is she working for? As Maria gets closer to the rich and connected she also attracts the attention of the FBI. In the politically charged world of US-Russia relations, everyone has secrets and almost nothing is what it seems. From Wondery, the makers of The Shrink Next Door and Dr. Death comes SPY AFFAIR a story about deception, appearances and betrayal. Hosted by Celia Aniskovich.
Listen today at wondery.fm/SA_OverMyDeadBody
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Let me tell you about a new, true crime, any serious from wondering called spy affair in two thousand. Sixteen,
of russian interference in the american presidential election, shook the nation to its core. Two years later, Maria boot Tuna and alleged russian operative sent to America to influence. U S, politics was arrested on charges of being a foreign agent. She quickly found herself and the people around her, embroiled in a massive
the eye investigation Maria, would be portrayed as a spy and a woman who strong a web of lies all focused on completing her primary mission influence government officials in positions of power to benefit her home country.
Russia, wonder, is new many SIRI spy affair is an inside look at the shocking true story of a woman who started her time in America with a trip to Disneyland and ended it as a convicted criminal you're about to hear a brief clip from the show. But while you listening make sure to follow spy affair on Apple Comcast's or you can listen early and ad free by starting here
the trial of laundry plus in the one rehab LAS Vegas Sin city.
Marriage capital of the world. On two may,
because most beloved casinos,
and in July, two thousand fifteen, a site
What was billed as the largest libertarian conference in the country, freedom fast,
thousands of business leaders, politicians, journalists, activists, finance, boroughs, flocks,
planet Hollywood hotel
among them was Maria Boot Tina.
Rio was from Russia and
there with her american boyfriend Paul Eriksson
long time, conservative campaigner there was his idea to go there. He showed
the american political world. Paul was my guide in this world, so he brought me to the feed
fast. There is one last minute addition to the speakers list who is getting a lot of attention that year and suddenly I start seeing the people are moving.
so they come in and they it's like people like bees. You know they're, like style
was in there. This is reason
there's not a single empty seat in the room. We have a packed house. I've never seen anything like this in freedom, fast, Maria and Paul settled into their chairs and the celebrity ballroom. Ladies and gentlemen, please
they wore round of applause for Donald Trump. Thank you very much. No did he say this was your biggest crowd of the weekend. It had only been a few weeks since Donald Trump had descended the golden escalator of Trump Tower to announce his run for president in front,
This crowd in LAS Vegas he spoke for about
half hour, the american dream is dead.
But I'm going to make it bigger and better and stronger than ever before and then took question
ok, who are the questions where are they do have a MIKE
when Maria sitting in the front row,
decided she should ask a question, so I can stand up. The curse, well,
who wouldn't Paul
the other hands didn't think
It's a good idea. If you really want trust question is of course, why not
Maria wrote her question down on a piece of paper, says she can read it when she got to the MIKE saw, I would actually as properly men in my English now, because I was quite nervous.
I'm visiting from Russia, migration, good friend of Obama, Boden Mighty, lies Obama. My question will be about foreign politics,
stood before them make with no book in hand
based shawl draped around her. She,
I need to know what Trump thought of the economic sanctions the Obama administration had imposed on Russia. If you d like to disappear, then do you want to continue the politics of sanctions that are damaging the Baltic on the main or you have any other Diaz Trump pointed at her?
I know potent and I'll tell you what we get along with Putin has no respect for President Obama, big problem,
I believe I would get along very nicely with afterwards
yeah excused herself headed to the restroom and made a phone
to a senior russian official. She would
I call it my best report Maria's.
Questions Trump had been brief and might have been forgotten, but much later. People,
look back on that moment in Vegas and ask who is
yeah Bettina, because
three years after freedom, FEST Maria,
routine undermine, was arrested
computers, clay, Maria Bhutan. It was
equally sent by the Russian Federation to infiltrate political Canada,
and the inner investigator say she worked again.
Says to american political operatives and political groups, including the Trump campaign I step outside, and they put handcuffs and me, and there was my last
then at the fray them Maria would tell me she was no secret agent,
She was a russian citizen who can.
so the United States
to build a better relationship between
few countries she loved by the federal government.
Saw something different, I do not expect it, but something inside of me told me
It's gonna, be very bad because the end
Turning to the question
who is Maria boots depends along.
On who you ask.
Transcript generated on 2021-03-30.