Archive for Friday, February 16, 2018

13 Russian nationals, including Putin friend, charged with meddling in U.S. elections

February 16, 2018, 12:10 p.m. Updated February 16, 2018, 3:12 p.m.


WASHINGTON — Thirteen Russians, including a businessman close to Vladimir Putin, were charged Friday in an elaborate plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election through social media propaganda, aimed in part at helping Republican Donald Trump and harming the prospects of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

The federal indictment, brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, represents the most direct allegation to date of illegal Russian meddling during the campaign that sent Trump to the White House. It also marks the first criminal charges against Russians believed to have secretly worked to influence the outcome.

Trump claimed vindication, noting in a tweet that Russian interference efforts alleged in the indictment began 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!" he tweeted. However, the Mueller investigation continues.

The collusion question, still unresolved, has been at the heart of the probe, which before Friday had produced charges against four Trump associates. The U.S. intelligence community has said the Russian government interfered to benefit Trump, including by orchestrating the hack of Democratic emails, and Mueller and his prosecutors have been assessing whether the campaign coordinated with Russia in any meddling.

The latest indictment does not focus on the hacking but instead centers on a social media effort that began in 2014 and continued past the election, with the goal of producing confusion and discontent in the American political process. Trump himself has been reluctant to acknowledge the interference.

Though the indictment lays out a vast and wide-ranging effort to sway political opinion during the presidential primaries and the bitterly contested general election, it does not allege that any American or Trump campaign associate knowingly participated. Trump campaign associates had only "unwitting" contact with Russians who posed as Americans during election season, it says.

It alleges that Russians working in concert with the Internet Research Agency, a St. Petersburg-based troll farm, purchased internet advertisements in the names of Americans whose identities they had stolen, staged political rallies while posing as American political activists and paid people in the U.S. to promote or disparage candidates.

The indictment says the Internet Research Agency was funded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a St. Petersburg businessman dubbed "Putin's chef" because his restaurants and catering businesses once hosted the Kremlin leader's dinners with foreign dignitaries. The company was also funded by companies Prigozhin controlled, according to the indictment.

The intent of the meddling, the indictment says, was to "sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election."

By early-to-mid 2016, the indictment alleges, Russian efforts included supporting Trump's campaign and disparaging Democrat Clinton. The charges say that Russians also communicated with "unwitting individuals" associated with the Trump campaign and other political activists to coordinate activities.

According to the indictment, the Internet Research Agency started interfering as early as 2014 in U.S. politics, extending to the 2016 presidential election. The defendants, "posing as U.S. persons and creating false U.S. personas," operated social media groups designed to attract U.S. audiences by stealing U.S. identities and falsely claiming to be U.S. activists.

"Over time, these social media accounts became defendants' means to reach significant numbers of Americans for purposes of interfering with the U.S. political system," the indictment reads.

The defendants are charged with conspiring "to obstruct the lawful functions of the United States government through fraud and deceit," including by making expenditures in connection with the 2016 election, failing to register as foreign agents carrying out political activities and obtaining visas through false and fraudulent statements.

Some of the Russians traveled to the United States "under false pretenses" to collect intelligence, and they also used computer infrastructure based partly in the United States to hide the Russian origins of their work.


Bob Summers 2 months ago

Trump is cleared.

Btw, these indicted people had NO influence on RESULTS of election.

Russian's have been meddling in American elections since the 50's.

There is even a series called "The Americans" that illustrates Russian meddling in the 70's and 80's.

Good job Mueller. You are all over it. Did you get any ideas from the TV series?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months ago

Wow. Defending Russian interference and attempts to destroy our country. What a patriot you are /sarcasm/. Sometimes I wonder if you and the other BS are a Russian trolls. What's that scene out of you window? Is it about 10pm or 11pm where you are?

Daniel Kennamore 2 months ago

It's pretty clear the Bobs are either on Putin's payroll or buy Russian propaganda at face value.

I like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they arn't really THAT gullible and are just getting paid to act that way.

Bob Summers 2 months ago

Obama said the 1980's are over in Presidential debate with Romney.

"Russia is no longer a threat"

Scott Burkhart 2 months ago

I believe the direct quote was: "The 80s are calling and they want their foreign policy back." Obama was deluded when it came to foreign policy. He ran State Department as the world was the way he wanted and not the way it is.

Glenda Susie Breese 2 months ago

You are so right. It was over when we had someone in the white house who knew how to be president.

Alex Landazuri 2 months ago

i think you need to work on your reading comprehension bob, no where in that story did it mention that trump was cleared of any wrong doing, nice try though champ...

Daniel Kennamore 2 months ago

Might want to check your glasses, Bob, because nowhere in that article does it say Trump is cleared of all possible charges.

Greg Cooper 2 months ago

We won't, Bob. Common sense and evidence will keep this going until it's ALL clear to the American public. At that point, you guys can come up with some other ignorant talking points.

Shelley Bock 2 months ago

Only if Russian Bob's minders write it for him.

Geoff Ermlap 2 months ago

Im relieved that Bob says its all okay and been going on for decades. I feel a lot better about the russians now. However, next, Mueller will tell us what americans they were associated (colluded) with. Trump da dump dump Trump

Thomas Bryce Jr. 2 months ago

I agree, these indictments set the stage for the Next Act. Nowhere was it stated that Trump and his Staff are vindicated. The investigation continues.

Harlan Hobbs 2 months ago

The Russian efforts in connection with the indictments started in 2014, a year before Donald Trump even announced for the presidency. Also, Rosenstein made it clear that there is not any evidence that the elections were actually tainted, only that the Russians tried.

As Bob says, the Russians have interfered in our country since before World War II, and they expanded their efforts during the Cold War. Remember, they are the ones who said "We will bury you", and "we will do it from within."

Nothing new here, plus it started under Obama's watch, and he did nothing about it. When all is said and done, it will be proven that the only collusion that occurred in the elections was between the Obama administration, the Clinton campaign, the Clinton Foundation, and the Russians. Just say tuned.

You can go back to sleep, Dorothy!

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months ago

It doesn't matter if the election would have been any different. I"m celebrating these jerks being indicted. I'm asking what is being done to prevent Russia from doing this again. Conservatives are all "Oh well, no big deal. Happens all the time." Personally, I love these guys were indicted, thank you, Mueller and Rosenstein.

And again, blaming Obama. So predictable. You don't think they aren't going to try again? Have you ever gone over to the Facebook pages of CNN? Most people can tell if they are trolls, because they will say some hateful things, then ghost, and they also have such fake names. When you blame Obama, instead of these Russian jerks, you are doing exactly what they want

These trolls get people riled up on social media, then sit back and watch us tear our own country apart. Did you read this story?

Or this one?


Geoff Ermlap 2 months ago

WOW harlan. One step closer to trump than ever and you have magically returned to the old standby that its clintons and obama faults. When trumps campaign is tied to it Im sure you will have a magical explanation why its clinton and obamas fault. cant wait

Paul Youk 2 months ago

Trump was talking about potentially running for President in Moscow, in November 2013, in the same time frame as the Miss Universe Pageant. The image is a tweet from Jan 2014 from Alferova Yulya, a woman who was one of the principle organizers of the Miss Universe.

Not only did Russia know, Team Trump was working with them the whole time.

Paul Youk 2 months ago

Also, even if there wasn't evidence of key Russians talking about Trump as President as early as Jan 2014, its complete nonsense to say that if Russia started trying to undermine the process generally at first, and then switched to exclusively trying to elect Trump at some point in 2015/2016--well, what they did in 2016 didn't matter. When they started isn't the main question--what they did, what impact it had, and what involvement Trump team had is paramount.

Combine this with the mountain of evidence that he and his team were communicating with Russians and in at least one case traveling to Moscow, and in at least one case, BEING A LITERAL RUSSIAN AGENT (Papadopoulos, though its very possible Carter Page was too), no less--and how nefarious some of that communication was--like Don Jr. talking about how much he'd love getting dirt on Clinton from a Russian lawyer with ties to Kremlin--you'd have to be a hoople to misread any of this as 'clearing' Trump.

Scott Burkhart 2 months ago

Papadopoulos? A foreign agent? And you have proof of this besides those words coming out of Rachel Maddow's mouth? Suppose you point to one thing on this "mountain of evidence."

Gary Pomeroy 2 months ago

I find the moral outrage interesting (and selective) that another country would attempt to interfere in our elections, considering our past history of interfering in other countries elections. For one small example, look at the US history in Central America, and the creation of Panama, which was assisted by US gunboats to keep the Venezuelan's away (what is now Panama was part of Venezuela).

Daniel Kennamore 2 months ago

The outrage isn't that they tried to's that they did and the administration pretends it didn't even happen.

Even if Trump and every member of his campaign is 100% innocent of any collusion...Russia still successfully got the candidate they wanted elected. Further that candidate they picked has refused to enact sanctions passed with super majorities in both houses...and also has failed to take one single action to keep Russia from doing it again.

Ryan Jackson 2 months ago

Some call it outrage, some call it Karma. Over 80 times, the US has interfered/involved itself in other countries elections - some multiple times such as Israel. Iran, Guatemala, Russia, Haiti - yet we're outraged when it happens to us.

Shelley Bock 2 months ago

Gary, Panama was part of Colombia when the US "stole it fair and square."

Daniel Kennamore 2 months ago

These indictments get closer and closer to the big fish.

They've now established that some members of the Trump campaign had shady dealings with Russia, and locked down not only that the Russian's interfered but how.

Just a matter of time before the prime time players' indictments start dropping.

Richard Aronoff 2 months ago

Some of you need to read this slowly without moving your lips.

Rod Rosenstein's official statement on the indictments said NO AMERICAN was involved in the Russian activities, that NO AMERICAN benefited from those activities and that the Russian's activities had NO EFFECT on the presidential election.

So Dorothy, exactly what part of NO AMERICANS and NO EFFECT do you not understand.

Daniel Kennamore 2 months ago

Too bad that's not true though.

From page one:

"From in or around 2014 to the present, Defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016."

Key phrase being 'and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury'.

This isn't the end of the indictments anymore than Papadopoulos's were. This is just the full extent of these particular charges against these particular people.

Paul Youk 2 months ago

There is a concerted effort by the con-prop outlets to misinform and misdirect here. What you are saying is false.

The indictment says nothing regarding the potential involvement of Americans or their benefit; it DOES NOT make any affirmative statements that precludes the involvement of Americans, or a benefit to Americans, or that precludes a potential effect on the election.

Justin Hoffman 2 months ago

Since liberals only read what they are brainwashed to read, I'll assume they did not even hear the press conference breaking down the indictment from Justice Department officials. "No American was knowingly involved in interference and no American benefited from Russian interference" --2/16/18 (This indictment signed by Robert Mueller)

What does this mean? Well, it means the left has struck out for the 700th time trying to connect Trump and Russia. It also means game over. Investigation done. Many sad liberals today.

Daniel Kennamore 2 months ago

That's some nice spin but isn't accurate.

Here's the quote from Rosenstein you're having some reading comprehension with:

"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at a press conference on Friday.

Key word is 'this'.

Justin Hoffman 2 months ago

Going to hang your hopes on Trump being indicted on the word “this”. Too funny!! Lol. Good luck.

Daniel Kennamore 2 months ago

I'm sorry reality is causing you distress, but I was just pointing out your statement was false.

Shelley Bock 2 months ago

Justin is just hanging his hat on the assumption that the indictments are over. No such comment was made. Of course, it could be, but there could be many more in the future. If you note, there was a plea/conviction of an America who no one knows about. Safe to say that there is more information being obtained from investigations and that there will be more indictments. Further, the assumption that there was no collusion hasn't been ruled out, yet. That's only happened in Trump's and Russian Justin's mind. The only thing funny is your analysis of events. Just sit back, wait, watch as more comes from the Special Prosecutor.

Bob Summers 2 months ago

Love the Liberal fantasies.

It depends on what the definition of the word "this" is.

Daniel Kennamore 2 months ago

Yeah, those dodgy liberals and their ability to actually comprehend the meaning of words. So crazy, right?

Sam Crow 2 months ago

I guess it is similar to the famous statement "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is".

Thomas Bryce Jr. 2 months ago

In this instance, Rosenstein was was referring to "This Indictment" as in this one, particular indictment and there will, most likely, be other indictments. Stay tuned, Bob. The investigation continues. More indictments are likely.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months ago

So, now will you conservatives demand that Trump enforce the sanctions that Congress passed to punish Russia. If not, why? Are you still going to defend Putin?

Justin Hoffman 2 months ago

Go outside, cup your hand to your ear and you can hear the collective hum of liberals all across America screaming “Nooooooooooo”. Lol

Paul Youk 2 months ago

lol, this was a terrible day for Trump....libs like me are getting the popcorn ready on future indictments. Your boy is gonna go down in flames.

Richard Aronoff 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Greg Cooper 2 months ago

You really hate it when people base their arguments on fact, don't you Richard (and Bob and Bob and Justin)?

Joe Blackford II 2 months ago

Contratry to Republican dogma, repeating FALSEHOODS doesn't make them TRUE !

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months ago

Despite all the name calling by those who seem to love Russia, I love that Mueller is doing his job. Whether or not Trump's campaign was involved, important and scary facts are coming out about a country that does not believe in democracy trying to split our country. And yet, the BS gang, Richard, Justin, Harlan, all continue to puppet these very Russians who are trying to divide the country. I kind of hope they are being paid by the Russians, and not just really falling for the Russian crud.

Could just one of you condemn Putin and the Russians and agree that the sanctions should be put on them? Just one of you?

Chris Ogle 2 months ago

Looking at the bright side, USA citizens are finally paying attention, and have an opinion on the state of our nation. That is (in my opinion) essential in a democracy such as ours.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months ago

Not if it's based on lies spread by Russians.

Hudson Luce 2 months ago

Hillary lost that election on her own, her campaign treated Bernie's people like dirt, before and after she stole the nomination. She didn't need any help from the Russians and I doubt that anything the Russians could have done would have made her and her campaign look any worse than they actually were, for example in Iowa and Nevada... After that, there's no way in hell I'd vote for her.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months ago

So you are okay with Russians interference too. Good to know.

Bob Summers 2 months ago

It jes be me.

But, I know I can take out 4 Russian dudes.

Cuz, I'm tuff.

Gary Stussie 2 months ago

Friday’s indictment filing – signed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller – says the 13 Russian nationals that were indited organized a Nov. 12 “Trump is NOT my President” rally in New York on the same day they also organized a “show your support for President-elect Donald Trump" rally in New York! ... purpose to sow political DISCORD.

The indictment also revealed that the Russians organized a “Charlotte Against Trump” rally in North Carolina on Nov. 19.

During the election, according to the filing, the Russians supported Trump and worked to spread derogatory information on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Their “strategic goal” was to “sow discord in the U.S. political system,” the indictment said.

Contrary to the hopes and dreams of many of the above liberals, the 4 Americans indited by Mueller's investigation were not indited for anything related to political collusion.

What is kind of amazing is how effective the Russians have been at pitting DEMs against REPs ... discord at its finest!

We should all be skeptical of anybody that submits a LJW comment which speaks in a derogatory fashion of our President ... they might be a pinko!

Greg Cooper 2 months ago

Gary: "indiCted". Thanks.

Now, collusion was not the reason for these indictments. That does not clear Chump or his campaign minions of anything. Try to read with comprehension, Gary.

And, by the way, nothing in this bill indicates that this is anything close to the end. There will be more. And you guys won't like that either.

Bob Summers 2 months ago

But I thought Donald Trump was the one who colluded with Russians?

However, the same names keep popping up of government officials who apparently did help the Russians and none of them look anything like Trump’s name.

Barack Obama.

Hillary Clinton.

John Kerry.

Loretta Lynch.

And the list goes on and on and on.

But Robert Mueller’s big Russian indictment confirms John Kerry’s State Department approved VISAs for two of the alleged Russian operatives.

Steve King 2 months ago

Everyone with any level of intelligence knows this ain't over yet

Bob Summers 2 months ago

Of course it's not over with Liberals embedded in government and MSM creating fantasies.

Why would it be?

Bob Smith 2 months ago

"...So, basically, the Russian bot farm or whatever had a better handle on U.S. politics than Hillary Clinton and her team of all-stars as they focused on states that she ignored?..."

Paul Youk 2 months ago

Trump is lying again. He talked about running for President in Moscow in November 2013...while there for Miss Universe pageant (among other business pursuits).

Bob Smith 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Doug Larson 2 months ago

This made me laugh, from Harlan Hobbs:

As Bob says, the Russians have interfered in our country since before World War II, and they expanded their efforts during the Cold War. Remember, they are the ones who said "We will bury you", and "we will do it from within."

Nothing new here, plus it started under Obama's watch, and he did nothing about it.

So, Obama was president during WWII?

Bob Smith 2 months ago

Somebody is very very sensitive today. Be careful you don't get disappeareded. Riddle me this, exactly how did my post violate the usage agreement?

Justin Hoffman 2 months ago

Day #466 the left has cried "collusion!" Every week they cry out "We've got him now. We've got Trump now. This is the big one!" And what happens? A big announcement like Friday and nothing on Trump. Trump didn't collude with the Russians. He didn't benefit from the Russians. He's not going to be indicted. Now or ever. So, while the left will continue their weekly "We've got him now" (they don't), the rest of us sensible people have long since moved on to making America great again!

Thomas Bryce Jr. 2 months ago

You sound like you are trying to convince us that an apple is a banana. The investigation continues.

Bob Smith 2 months ago

Still wondering how the Russkies managed to keep Hillary out of Wisconsin....

Thomas Bryce Jr. 2 months ago

By swinging about 1% of the votes just like they did in Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan. That is why she lost the Electoral vote but won the popular vote: Gerrymandering. Almost all of the key states the Dems lost were coincidentally lost by about 1%. Just enough to win, but not enough to draw attention. Some mathematicians called that a "Statistical anomaly" because all of them were lost by the same margin. An algorithm could do that easily. Hmmm..... Thus, the Mueller investigation to see if our election was manipulated.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 2 months ago

For those not familiar with an "Algorithm" this is the definition:"A finite set of unambiguous instructions that, given some set of initial conditions, can be performed in a prescribed sequence to achieve a certain goal and that has a recognizable set of end conditions."

Bob Smith 2 months ago

"Let’s make it simple for Dems: - You’re not getting our guns - There was no collusion - Illegals are illegal - We’re winning big in 2018 and 2020 - Trump is your president"

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months ago

Any of you conservatives on here support the sanctions that Trump is suppose to be implementing against the Russians? Why? Why not? And why isn't he doing it?

Steve King 2 months ago

Deflection. Buyers remorse. Or just...well who knows. My prediction, Trump goes down and the Trump Hit Parade supporters will sink away.

Today, 3 guilty pleas, Manifort under indictment facing new money laundering charges. New news, 13 indictments against Russian interference. McMasters, no question. Trump Jr..."I love it", the "majority of our money comes from Russia".

Trolls boast "Trump is cleared!" Sad for them. The next 3 months will bring indictments against (Failed Security Clearance Jerard who borrowed $100,000 Million from an Israeli Insurance company a week before his visit to bring peace to the middle east), Trump Jr., and more before the midterms.

Why hasn't Trump instituted the sanctions against Russia the US Congress passed with overwhelming majorities? Not clapping is treason? What is this?

3 Guilty Pleas!


Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months ago

Still haven't heard Trump or any of his admirers on this forum condemn and demand that the sanctions be implemented. Just hating on fellow Americans, but not hating on a dictator who would love to see the US fall apart. Are you paid by Putin to support him, or do you just hate our country?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months ago

Again, stop with the gaslighting, and answer the question. Why are you against sanctions on Russia? Or rather, why is Trump against them? You just follow along with whatever he says and does, so tell me where is the logic for not implementing these sanctions?

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