Trump lashes out at 'Fake News Media' over Mueller indictments

39;Spy novel' ways Russians meddled

Facebook has since hired thousands of people to help monitor content and has worked with Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel leading the investigation into Russian election interference.

"This puts them in a jam", said longtime Clinton advisor Philippe Reines, referring to congressional Republicans who have attacked Mueller and his investigation.

The charges, approved by a federal grand jury in Washington, reinforce a finding delivered early previous year by USA intelligence services that Russia's government had ordered an influence campaign targeting the presidential election, part of which included supporting Trump.

However, it's just not that simple.

But the indictment does not resolve the collusion question at the heart of the continuing Mueller probe, which before Friday had produced charges against four Trump associates. "Specialists were instructed to post content that focused on 'politics in the United States of America, '" one section of the document reads, adding that those involved with the interference were told to "use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump - we support them)'".

Russian influence-mongers corresponded with a number of Trump campaign workers and even paid some Americans to show up for protests they organized, the indictment alleges. They also point out that digital platforms like social media are not covered by laws that require buyers of most other political advertising to disclose their identity. USA intelligence agencies have previously charged that a separate Russian effort hacked Democratic Party and Clinton campaign emails and leaked them to WikiLeaks in an effort to sway the election.

Russian operatives stole identities, posed as Black Lives Matter activists and pushed allegations of voter fraud, the United States team prosecuting 13 Russians for alleged interference in the United States presidential election has said.

The defendants are accused of spreading derogatory information about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, denigrating Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio - and ultimately supporting Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and then-Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Rosenstein: "There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity".

"The results of the election were not impacted".

Current laws prohibit political campaigns from receiving money or direct assistance from foreign governments, but loopholes that allow for the dissemination of election-related advertising that does not explicitly call for the election or defeat of a specific candidate.

Rosenstein said the conspiracy involved a company called Internet Research Agency with hundreds of employees.

McMaster has expressed his confidence in the Russian election-meddling allegations before, and his new comments on Saturday were once again at odds with the views of his boss.

For example, in June of 2016, Russian operatives began talking with an American "affiliated with a Texas-based grassroots organization". One of the defendants, Irina Kaverzina, was said to have written an email to her family saying: "We had a slight crisis here at work: the Federal Bureau of Investigation busted our activity (not a joke). So, I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with the colleagues", one of them, Irina Kaverzina, wrote in an email to a relative.

The Russians might have wanted to know, simply, what those systems were, what information they contained and how they might have been able to exploit them. Mueller's investigators obtained a copy of the email.

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