“‘I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal.’ Rob Goldman Vice President of Facebook Ads”, Trump wrote in a subsequent tweet.
The 37-page document outlines specific ways in which Russian Federation, through numerous individuals and organizations, sought to influence the election – both from overseas, online and on USA soil.
It turns out Donald Trump wasn’t the only candidate the Russians allegedly tried to help during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Now Special Counsel Mueller must turn to real and far more serious instances of election meddling and collusion with the Russians by the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Obama administration to damage the Trump campaign.
Special Counsel’s Office spokesman Peter Carr described the indictment as covering “13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of violating U.S. criminal laws in order to interfere with United States of America elections and political processes”.
“This indictment serves as a reminder that people are not always who they appear to be on the Internet”, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said at a press briefing announcing the indictments. This is similar to what the US intelligence community found.
“In about a year of this chaos about the so-called interference of Russian Federation into the elections, we never heard not a single fact”, Lavrov said in September 2017.
“The so-called Internet Research Agency, a Russian corporate entity registered in July 2013, ” sought, in part, to conduct what it called ‘information warfare against the United States of America” through fictitious USA personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media'”. Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion.
The dossier went on to say that an ethnic Russian associate of Mr. Trump told a Steele “compatriot” that “there was a well-developed conspiracy of co-operation between them and the Russian leadership”.
McMaster’s remarks came shortly after Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the indictments during a speech on the same Munich conference stage. “We must not allow them to succeed”, said Rosenstein.
In one case, it said, the Russians paid an unidentified person to build a cage aboard a flatbed truck and another to wear a costume “portraying Clinton in a prison uniform”.
Some experts said Friday’s indictment does not indicate Mueller’s probe was broadening.
The 13 are charged with running a huge but hidden social media trolling campaign aimed in part at helping Republican Mr Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Mueller is deep into a multifaceted probe of Russian interference, and whether the Trump campaign cooperated with the Kremlin, among other elements. “We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections”.
“These groups and pages, which addressed the divisive US political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by USA activists when, in fact, they were controlled by defendants”, the indictment reads.
They created hundreds of social media accounts and used them to develop fictitious United States personas into “leaders of opinion in the U.S”.
Two “March for Trump, Down with Hillary” rallies were also organized in July 2016.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that as explosive as this indictment is, it does not allege that any American, including members of the Trump team, wittingly joined the conspiracy.