Trump Says Russians `Laughing Their Asses Off' by Sowing Chaos

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In a rapid-fire series of tweets from his Palm Beach estate on Sunday, the president unloaded over the Russia investigation, days after an indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians with a plot to interfere in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Trump, who sees the Russian Federation investigation as an attempt to delegitimize his presidency, seems determined to undermine Mueller, the F.B.I., and other elements of the Justice Department in anticipation of that possibility.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed the charges, calling them "blabber" and "fantasies".

During an interview with CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, former national intelligence director James Clapper called Goldman's assertion "false". "That's why they are just children's statements", Andrei Kutskikh, the presidential envoy for global information security, told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. "Thank you Adam!" Trump tweeted Sunday morning. He also said the indictment vindicated him and his campaign from allegations of collusion with Moscow.

According to the indictment, the defendants started their nefarious activities in 2014 by studying groups on US social media sites. "Which is a very interesting point", Trump said.

In his comments, Schiff did not blame the Obama administration for the Russia meddling, but said Trump's predecessor should have exposed the Russians' actions much earlier. But both were immediately hit with questions about the US indictment and the broader issue of cyberattacks.

After Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the charges, Mr. Trump tweeted that the election results weren't impacted despite Russian efforts.

Many pointed out the obvious, which is that the United States has always been meddling in other nations' elections, just like Russian Federation and China do in ours.

Earlier, top Russian and American officials exchanged barbs in Germany over the USA indictment of 13 Russians.

Last week's federal indictment of 13 Russians for interfering in our political process is a fascinating document. The Justice Department has for years supported indicting foreign defendants in absentia as a way of publicly shaming them and effectively barring them from foreign travel. But the indictment was silent on the question of whether anyone from the Trump campaign coordinated or worked with Russians.

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The effort allegedly involved hundreds of people working in shifts and with a budget of millions of dollars. Ted Cruz during the Republican primary and posed as Americans while communicating with a person "affiliated with a Texas-based grassroots organization", according to an indictment issued Friday.

Facebook said in a statement it had previously disclosed the Internet Research Agency's activity on its platform.

This much is thought to be true: Russian Federation is not known to have succeeded in manipulating voting systems or ballots.

The US Treasury Department last month issued a list of prominent Russian political and business figures who could be sanctioned, as required under a law passed a year ago to punish Moscow's election meddling.

As part of the White House push to frame the recent indictments of Russian nationals and entities for election interference as a vindication for President Donald Trump when it comes to collusion, White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley appeared on Fox & Friends this morning to parrot the president's reaction to the news. Among the ads: "JOIN our #HillaryClintonForPrison2016" and "Donald wants to defeat terrorism. He had better issues and [Hillary Clinton] was a bad candidate". Weird capitalization aside, that sentence functions as a sort of conservative fever swamp conspiracy theory laundry list of supposed Clinton transgressions for which, in Trump's mind, she has not been adequately punished. Now the Mueller indictment adds voluminous detail to that understanding. He argued that US officials also have said no country influenced the USA election results. "As a matter of fact, you know this indictment shows that there was more done after the election than before the election". Posing as USA persons, they contacted American political and social activists, and, using information derived from these contacts, determined how to structure their disinformation operations in the upcoming presidential election.

However, Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch testified before the Senate last October as many as 126 million people - roughly one-third of the USA population - were exposed to posts from Russian accounts, thanks to the impact of organic posts along with the ads.

Afterward, the indictment alleges, the co-conspirators "commonly referred to targeting 'purple states". The indictment says the fake group encouraged Muslim Americans to boycott the election.

Just as the defendants are alleged to have sponsored pro- and anti-Trump rallies after the election, it would not be inconsistent for them or their co-conspirators to attack and undercut Trump, the candidate they were allegedly supporting.

Mueller is also reportedly investigating Trump for obstruction of justice.

Once the presidential campaign started, they used stolen Social Security numbers and birth dates of real USA persons to set up bank and PayPal accounts.

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