President Donald Trump blasted a member of his own team on Twitter.
The president went after National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster after his speech at the Munich Security Conference in Germany. In it McMaster said indictments from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation are ‘incontrovertible’ evidence of Russia’s election meddling.
‘General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems.
‘Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!’ Trump tweeted on Saturday night.
President Trump took to Twitter to say his National Security Adviser forgot to say the election’s results were not impacted or changed by the Russians
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said on Saturday that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election was ‘beyond dispute’ after the FBI’s indictment
McMaster said on Saturday that Russia’s meddling in the election is now ‘beyond dispute’, conceding the results of Robert Mueller’s probe and directly contradicting the US Russian foreign minister who labeled them ‘just babble’ moments earlier.
He said the evidence that there was interference ‘is now incontrovertible’ and he credited Mueller’s investigation and the sensational, long-awaited indictment for bringing it to the surface.
‘As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain.’
Laughing off the notion that the US could work with the Kremlin on the issue of cyber security in the future, he said:
‘I’m surprised there are any Russian cyber experts available based on how active most of them have been undermining our democracies in the West.
‘We would love to have a cyber dialogue when Russia is sincere about curtailing its sophisticated form of espionage.’
Moments earlier on the same stage, foreign minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the indictment and its allegations.
After the indictments were announced, Trump said in a statement that ‘it is more important than ever before to come together as Americans’
On Friday the president celebrated the indictment’s timeline which said the interference began before he announced his candidacy. It said any of his campaign aides were ‘unwitting’
‘I have no response. You can publish anything, and we see those indictments multiplying, the statements multiplying,’ he said. ‘Until we see the facts, everything else is just blabber.’
He said there was an ‘irrational myth’ that Russia was threatening the West, and said: ‘traces’ of it ‘are found everywhere from Brexit to the Catalan referendum.’
Both were responding to the 37-page indictment returned on Friday by a grand jury which charges 13 Russian individuals and three companies with a series of crimes relating to the interference.
Among those indicted are a businessman nicknamed Putin’s ‘chef’, a woman who acted as a spy for the organization to come to the US in 2014 to gather intel and a computer whiz who used servers to hide ‘troll factory’s location’.
Mueller’s office made the stunning announcement on Friday, saying that the defendants laid the groundwork for targeting U.S. elections in 2014 – and that by mid-2016 they were actively ‘supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump … and disparaging Hillary Clinton.’
They did not suggest that there had been any collusion between them and Trump’s campaign and stated in the indictment that any member of his campaign that was contacted by the ‘trolls’ was ‘unwitting’.
On Friday, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said: ‘There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity.’
He also said there was no proof that the interference successfully swayed voters.
Trump lamented it on Twitter, repeating what he and his supporters have been saying for months.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the charges at a press conference on Friday (above)
How the Russians meddled in the 2016 election
A 37-page indictment released Feb. 16, 2018 by the U.S. Department of Justice accuses 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies of conspiring to compromise the most recent U.S. elections by running online campaigns disguised to look like home-grown activity.
A federal grand jury charged that they:
- posed as both real and nonexistent Americans to operate social media pages and groups supporting Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders
- worked to undermine support for Hillary Clinton and at leas two of Trump’s Republican rivals
- conducted ‘information warfare’ by stealing identities and buying ads on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter
- created niche groups on Facebook to attract hundreds of thousands of Muslims, evangelical Christians, people associated with Black Lives Matter, and Americans from specific regions of the country
- organized real-life political rallies to support Trump and oppose Clinton
- created Twitter accounts with names meant to appear linked to the Republican Party (one had more than 100,000 followers)
- used foreign bank accounts to route more than $1.25 million per month to the project from companies owned by a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin
- never reported the spending to the Federal Election Commission as campaign expenses
- never registered as foreign agents with the Justice Department
- bought space on computer servers based in America so all their Internet traffic would appear to be domestic
‘Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!’
The White House issued a longer victory-lap statement afterwards.
Trump, it said, ‘has been fully briefed on this matter and is glad to see the Special Counsel’s investigation further indicates — that there was NO COLLUSION between the Trump campaign and Russia and that the outcome of the election was not changed or affected.’
Trump said in the statement that ‘it is more important than ever before to come together as Americans. We cannot allow those seeking to sow confusion, discord, and rancor to be successful.’
‘It’s time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories, which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions. We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections.’
Insiders told CBS that the Trump briefing prior to the announcement was held in hopes of keeping Trump from over-reacting on Twitter and ensuring the president would not ‘break any glass’ over the new information.
Mueller’s investigation is still ongoing.
The Special Counsel has not concluded the investigation into whether Trump or his associates colluded with Russia ahead of the 2016 election, an insider told Bloomberg.
Rosenstein said the Russian defendants engaged in ‘what they called ‘information warfare against the United States,’ with the stated goal of spreading distrust toward the candidates and the political system in general.’
He said the indictments are a reminder that ‘people are not always who they appear to be’.