The White House continues to vehemently deny collusion with Russia a day after multiple indictments of Russian nationals and entities were announced by the Justice Department in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
In a string of tweets Saturday, President Donald Trump said that, despite the newly announced charges, the Russian meddling had no effect on the outcome of the election.
” ‘Charges Deal Don A Big Win,’ written by Michael Goodwin of the @nypost, succinctly states that ‘the Russians had no impact on the election results.” There was no Collusion with the Trump Campaign. “She lost the old-fashioned way, by being a terrible candidate. Case closed,’” Trump cited in one tweet.
In a separate tweet, the President quoted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein from when he made the announcement regarding the various indictments on Friday.
“Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein stated at the News Conference: ‘There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election,” Trump tweeted.
White House says the media is the problem
“This makes it clear and concise for the American people and proves the President correct. No collusion between Donald Trump, his campaign and Russia,” Deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said on Fox News on Saturday.
“I think this is important too, it did not affect the outcome the election whatsoever,” Gidley added. “What the Russians were trying to do as outlined by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein was create chaos in the American election system. And I’ll just say this: There are two groups that have created chaos more than the Russians, and that’s the Democrats and the mainstream media, who continue to push this lie on the American people for more than a year.”
Facebook exec responds to the indictment
Additionally, Trump quoted the tweets of Facebook’s vice president of ad products, Rob Goldman.
“Most of the coverage of Russian meddling involves their attempt to effect the outcome of the 2016 US election. I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal,” one of Goldman’s tweets read.
Goldman’s tweets that Trump quoted were only a sample of several Goldman tweeted out in a string on Friday night about Facebook ads and Russia’s alleged use of social media for misinformation.
Goldman also responded to comments on his Twitter thread. In one tweet, he wrote: “Thanks for the proof read. If only One could edit ones tweet. As to the substance: the Russian campaign was certainly in favor of Trump. The point is that the misinformation campaign is ongoing and must be addressed. Today, we saw Russian pro gun tweets re: Florida shooting.”
He also replied to a tweet about his statement that he could “very definitively” say the main goal of the Russian ads was not to sway the election.
“It’s one thing to make an argument about IRA, quite another to claim that hacking into the DNC wasn’t an attempt to influence the outcome of the election,” said Josh Hendler, the former tech chief for the Democratic National Committee, quoting Goldman’s tweet. The IRA, or Internet Research Agency, is a Russia-linked troll group that designed a network of fake American activist groups and used the stolen identities of real Americans in an attempt to wreak havoc on the US political system, according to the federal indictment.
Goldman replied: “Fair point. I am only speaking here about the Russian behavior on Facebook. That is the only aspect that I observed directly.”
On Friday, charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities were announced by the Justice Department. The indictments come as part of Mueller’s inquiry into Russian meddling in the election, where he’s examining any potential ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia. Russia has denied any involvement in the election and Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion.
CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan contributed to this report.