Montana Senate candidate accused of coordinating with NRA

ABC News

Democrats questioned Thursday whether U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale illegally coordinated with the National Rifle Association based on an audio recording of the Montana Republican saying the NRA planned to support his campaign. Rosendale spokesman Shane Scanlon called the accusation baseless and said Rosendale only discussed the NRA's endorsement with the gun-rights group, which is legal.

An audio recording posted by The Daily Beast appears to capture Rosendale saying that he expected the NRA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to enter the race against Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in August, and that he had spoken with Chris Cox, executive director of NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, the group's lobbying arm.

Brendan Fischer, an attorney with the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign Legal Center, said it appeared to him that Rosendale was speaking about NRA spending money on ads in the race, because that was the question he was answering."It appeared from the recording that Rosendale was talking about something other than an endorsement," Fischer said. "It creates an inference that the NRA-ILA had suggested what kind of communication it would be running in the Montana Seante race, and Rosendale assented, which would be coordination."

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