Last week, alleged Russian spy Maria Butina was arrested after years of reportedly trying to build ties between Russia, the National Rifle Association, and the GOP. Among the backlash the NRA received following Butina's indictment was a takedown from Samantha Bee, whose NRA video took up a prime slot on Wednesday night's episode of Full Frontal.
Bee had some strong words for Butina, who according to her has "proven that it is extremely easy" to be "a sexy Russian spy and convince Americans to compromise themselves." However, Bee primarily went after the NRA and its spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, who last year called on pro-gun conservatives to fight liberal "lies" with "the clenched fist of truth."
“Who cares if Butina fancied herself a half-assed James Bond character?” Bee asked on Wednesday. “The scary thing is that foreign interests are working with powerful conservative groups like the NRA and it just got even easier.”
Bee was referring to the Trump administration's announcement last week that some tax-exempt organizations — like the NRA — would no longer be required to disclose their donors to the IRS. Many conservative groups have argued that donor disclosure could subject their contributors to government intimidation and therefore perceived the announcement as a victory, according to USA Today.
"Instead of playing spy, now Butina and her oligarch cronies can just give illegal contributions to the NRA and even the IRS won't know!" Bee suggested.
During her opening segment, Bee also made a point to parody NRA videos featuring "shiny-haired panic button Dana Loesch," in which she frequently looks directly into the camera while defending gun rights. Before starring in her own version of these videos, Bee questioned why the NRA was so silent about Butina when it is typically so vocal about "the scourge of American liberalism," and suggested that she should "talk to them in a way that they understand."
"NRA, you go on your little screen with your scary shark eyes to tell people to make out with their guns or whatever," Bee said, staring down the camera. "You make a narrative out of false context and fear-monger your followers into thinking they’re in a civil war."
Then you’re caught associating yourself with one Russian agent and you just disappear? What gives? I dare you to make a comment — I challenge you to tell me how it’s American for the NRA to take money from foreign agents who want to see our democracy burn.
Bee's NRA parody video took on a similar format to a now-infamous ad the organization released last year, in which Loesch essentially "declares war" on liberals, according to her critics. In the video, Loesch accuses liberals — or rather, an unspecified "they" — of "assassinating real news" and "terrorizing the law-abiding," while violent images of protests are displayed on the screen. In Bee's video, she overlays her monologue with similarly ominous images of Trump, guns, and Butina to complete the parody.
The Full Frontal Host then concluded her opening segment by challenging Loesch to "get bangs."
"Change it up," Bee told Loesch. "You do want to be a star, right? You're the NRA spokesperson, so start spoking. Your time is running out."