Mueller indicts 12 Russians for DNC hacking
While speaking at a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this morning, President Trump described the Russian investigation as a "witch hunt," saying it was "rigged" and that it "really hurts our country, and it really hurts our relationship with Russia."
Here's what Trump said:
Approximately two hours later back in Washington, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that the Department of Justice had indicted 12 Russian nationals for hacking into Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC in the runup to the 2016 election.
Rosenstein stated that he had briefed Trump earlier this week. This means President Trump knew of the indictment, and still chose to describe the investigation that produced it as a "rigged witch hunt."
"I briefed President Trump about these allegations earlier this week," Rosenstein said. "The President is fully aware of today’s actions by the Department."
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi slammed Republicans for "sham hearings" and called on President Trump to "stand up" to Russian President Vladimir Putin, noting if it he didn't it would be a "profound betrayal of the Constitution and our democracy."
Here's her full statement:
Just hours before the indictment announcement, President Trump said he would ask Russian President Vladimir Putin about Russian election meddling. The two leaders have a summit on Monday.
"I know you'll ask, 'Will we be talking about meddling?'" Trump said to a reporter at a news conference with British prime minister Theresa May this morning. "And I will absolutely bring that up."
However, Trump added, said Putin likely will not admit to meddling.
"I don’t think you’ll have any 'Gee I did it, I did it, you got me,'" Trump said while raising his hands. "There won’t be a Perry Mason here — I don’t think. But you never know what happens, but I will absolutely firmly ask the question, and hopefully we’ll have a very good relationship with Russia."
President Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.
But in light of the new indictments against 12 Russians for the DNC hack, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, is calling on Trump to abandon that meeting.
Here's what he said in a statement:
Earlier today, while speaking alongside British Prime Minister Theresa May, President Trump said he would bring up election meddling during his meeting with Putin.
The FBI has released the indictment charging 12 Russian nationals in the hacking of Democratic Party emails during the 2016 election.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at a press conference that, “in an effort to conceal their connections to Russia, the defendants used a network of computers around the world,” and “the conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet."
However, he added that “there is no allegation in this indictment that the Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers.”
"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result.”
The defendants worked for two units of the GRU that “engaged in active cyber operations to interfere in the 2016 presidential elections,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at a news conference.
One unit stole information using spearfishing schemes and hacked into computer networks, where they “installed malicious software that allowed them to spy on users and capture keystrokes, take screenshots and exfiltrate or remove data from those computers,” Rosenstein said.