GOP Senate candidate's comments raise questions about potential campaign finance violations


A Republican Senate candidate in Montana is facing questions over comments he made suggesting he knew of the National Rifle Association's plans to be involved in his race -- a move that experts say could violate campaign finance laws meant to prohibit campaigns from coordinating with outside groups. 

The comments, recorded on audio first published by the Daily Beast and subsequently obtained by CNN, features the candidate, Matt Rosendale, talking about Chris Cox, a chief strategist with the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, and the group's plans to support his challenge against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, a red-state incumbent up for re-election in the fall.

Brendan Fischer, the federal reform program director at the Campaign Legal Center, said his group planned to file a complaint with the FEC about the Rosendale comments.

"If the outside group goes to the candidate and says, 'We're going to run ads during this period, with this message,' and the candidate assents to that, that too is considered coordinated," Fischer said.

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