Members of the National Rifle Association were in touch with close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 presidential election, a source inside the NRA told McClatchy on Monday.


The context: The Department of Justice is currently investigating whether NRA member and Putin ally Alexander Torshin used the NRA to funnel money into President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign. 


A 2015 picture showing Torshin and other NRA members dining in Moscow with other Russian big names, including Russia's deputy prime minister and the head of the Orthodox church, was shared with McClatchy.


The official purpose of the meeting was to discuss Russian gun factories.

The big bucks: The NRA was Trump's biggest financial backer in 2016, contributing more than $30 million to his campaign.


According to McClatchy, the DOJ is currently investigating whether any of that money was illegally transferred from Russian officials.