McMaster: Evidence of Russian meddling 'incontrovertible'
McMaster: Evidence of Russian meddling 'incontrovertible'
18 February, 2018, 03:08
The indictments - which include the first charges laid by USA special counselRobert Mueller for alleged electioninterference - detailed a stunning operation launched in 2014 in a bid to sow social division in the United States and influence American politics "including the presidential election of 2016".
One of them is the Internet Research Agency, based in St Petersburg, which the 37-page indictment said "had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 United States presidential election". He argued that US officials also have said no country influenced the USA election results.
"The Internet Research Agency, based in St. Petersburg, Russia, was named in the indictment as the hub of an ambitious effort to trick Americans into following Russian-fed propaganda that pushed USA voters toward then-Republican candidate Donald Trump and away from Democrat Hillary Clinton".
Some Trumpcampaign officials also helped the Russian meddling - unknowingly, the indictment says.
The indictment confirms earlier findings from congressional investigations that Russian agents manipulated social media to promote social division by mimicking grassroots political activity.
Republicans say that if there was Russian collusion in 2016, it was carried out by the Clintoncampaign and Mr. Steele and his Kremlin sources.
Senator Mark Warner has said that the special counsel has made an important step in holding Russian Federation accountable, with this indictment.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and other top Russian officials have repeatedly denied interfering in the USA presidential election.
Prosecutors said officials at that firm, the Internet Research Agency, described their work as "information warfare against the United States" and their goal as "spreading distrust toward the candidates and the political system". However, as one Russia guru points out to me, "on the "unwitting" Trumpcampaign officials, we know there was a hell of a lot of 'witting.' That is effectively what the June 9 meeting (at Trump Tower) and (outreach to Russians from) Papadopoulos show".
He also suggested that USA authorities had "cornered themselves" by making statements about Russian meddling in the past and now are trying to get some "retroactive justifications but still they are floundering".
Ever since Donald Trump won the Presidency, his aides have repeatedly characterized the Russian Federation investigation as an insult to the American voters who put their faith in him.
Unleashed in 2014, the social media operations ran ads and stage rallies, mostly in support of President Trump and against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Prigozhin said Friday he was not upset by the indictment.
Two defendants traveled to the U.S.in June 2014 to gather intelligence on social media sites and identify targets for their operations, the indictmentalleges.
The accused posed as politically and socially active Americans, advocating for and against particular political candidates. According to the indictment, Internet Research Agency specialists were instructed to "use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump - we support them),'" The Post reports.
In Russia, one of the 13 people indicted said that the US justice system is unfair.
That person, Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina, wrote the family member, "I created all of these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people".
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The indictment doesn't appear to identify the person affiliated with the Texas group whom the Russians communicated with. A California man has pleaded guilty to unwittingly selling bank accounts to Russians meddling in the U.S. elections.
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