Russians Charged With Interfering in the 2016 Election

Mindy Sparks
February 17, 2018

One of the key figures indicted with plotting to interfere in the 2016 US presidential is a Russian restaurateur believed to have ties to President Vladimir Putin.

The US Justice Department has indicted 13 Russians and several companies for conspiring to disrupt the 2016 US election.

The Internet Research Agency, operating out of St. Petersburg, Russia, was described in the indictment as a hub for a sophisticated operation created to reach millions of Americans to disrupt the political process in the U.S. Its annual budget was millions of dollars; its stated goal was to "spread distrust toward the candidates and the political system in general". Sometimes the Russians used fake USA personas co communicate with Trump officials doing local outreach and those officials would then distribute their materials via social media. "Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for president", he tweeted on Friday as he departed the White House for Florida.

Before Mr Trump was elected, some of the defendants, who were posing as Americans, communicated with "unwitting" members of the Trump campaign to "co-ordinate political activities", the indictment alleges. Russian Federation has denied interfering in the election, and Mr Trump has denied any collusion by his campaign.

The indictment says the Russians' activities "included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J Trump ... and disparaging Hillary Clinton".

"The Russians infiltrated our system", Smith said, "manipulated us on behalf of Vladimir Putin, and they did it online and in person, on our soil".

All the defendants have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States.

George Papadopoulos, another advisor for the Trump campaign admitted he had lied to federal investigators about meetings with a Russian agent in connection with the campaign.

The indictment claims that in or around May 2014 - still prior to Trump's June 16, 2015 speech announcing his candidacy-the organization's strategy included interfering with the 2016 US presidential election, with the stated goal of "spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general".

President Donald Trump on Friday seized on what was wasn't in special counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of Russians as evidence that his campaign didn't collude in Moscow's effort to influence the 2016 election.

"13 people interfered in the US elections?! We must not allow them to succeed", he said. Thirteen against an intelligence services budget of billions?

They visited Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, and NY to gather intelligence, and told the State Department it was just for funsies.

In fact, while prosecutors have not alleged that meddling altered the election's outcome, the indictment does not rule it out.

But, in a White House statement Trump did, for the first time, acknowledge Russians had engaged in 2016 election rannygazoo.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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