Accused Russian spy met Mark Sanford at SC barbecue

posted by Live 5 News Web Staff - 

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Rep. Mark Sanford had spoken with an accused Russian spy who was charged this week.

Maria Butina is facing several charges related to acting as a covert Russian agent here in the United States, and allegedly using sex and deception to build her network and expand her influence.

Butina is the girlfriend of Sanford's business-school classmate.

They both attended a post-Thanksgiving barbecue last year for Sanford at his farm.

Sanford told CNN he was surprised to see Butina's name and picture in the news this week for acting as a foreign agent for Russia.

"I did meet her, a few interactions were pleasant," Sanford told CNN in an interview. "It's the girlfriend of a guy I've known for 30 years. She seemed nice enough."

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