Indictments of Russian individuals send Trump into angry Twitter tirade

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Indictments by the United States Justice Department of 13 Russian individuals and three organisations for allegedly interfering in the 2016 election sent President Donald Trump into an angry twitter tirade over the weekend.

In a series of tweets, the President, whose election campaign is being investigated for collusion with Russia to win the election, again denied that his campaign did anything wrong.

He attacked the FBI, and appeared to call out his own National Security Advisor while blaming the administration of his predecessor for not doing anything while knowing the threat Russia allegedly posed.

The President, as Commander in Chief, has been reluctant to criticize Russia despite all US intelligence agencies concluding that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election with the purpose of hurting Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton’s prospects.

The Friday indictments also put to rest any earlier assertions from the President casting doubt on Russia’s involvement.

The indictment, read out by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, says Russia conspired with persons known and unknown, which could include Americans, in efforts that started in 2014.

“The indictment charges 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States political system, including the 2016 Presidential election. The defendants allegedly conducted what they called ‘information warfare’ against the United States with the stated goal of ‘spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.’”

The current indictments do not address the question of possible collusion with the Trump campaign. But the President took it as vindication tweeting that the results of the election were not impacted and that the Trump campaign did nothing wrong.

He also attacked the FBI for missing signals in the school shooting tragedy in Florida last week, accusing them of spending too much time trying to prove Russia collusion; or attacking former President Barack Obama for knowing about the Russia threat and doing nothing!

These were the remarks of his National Security Advisor General HR McMaster at a security summit in Munich over the weekend.

“We’re becoming more and more adept at tracing the origins of this espionage and subversion and as you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is really incontrovertible and available in the public domain.”

The President then chided his advisor on twitter saying General McMaster had forgotten to say the 2016 election results were not impacted , a claim the indictments do not address. Russia continues to insist the accusations are groundless.

“When it comes to my being ambassador in the United States, I would say that we never got involved as a government in the political life in the United States. I have never done anything of this sort, none in my embassy did. So, whatever allegations are being mounted against us are simply fantasies that are being used for political reasons inside the United States in the fight between different sides of the political divide that is haunting the United States now,” says former Russian Ambassador to the USA Sergei Kislyak speaking at the Munich Summit.

Where the Mueller investigation is going is anyone’s guess. But he does appear to be doing things incrementally, having already obtained guilty pleas from Trump’s former national security advisor for lying to the FBI, as well as indictments of his former campaign Manager Paul Manafort and Manafort’s associate Rick Gates with several media outlets reporting that Gates will now testify against Manafort in the latest deal struck with the Special Counsel.

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