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Lavrov Dismisses Claims of Russian Meddling in US Election
International

Lavrov Dismisses Claims of Russian Meddling in US Election

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has again dismissed claims of Russian meddling in the US election, saying that until facts are presented by Washington, they are nothing but “blather.”
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday, he said that “Until we see facts, everything else will be just blather.”  When asked to comment on the indictment of Russian nationals and companies in the US over alleged meddling in the 2016 US election,
Lavrov said that “you know, I have no reaction at all because one can publish anything he wants. We see how accusations, statements, are multiplying,” RT reported.
On Friday, US Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged  13 Russian nationals and three entities accused of interfering in the 2016 election and political processes. According to the indictment, those people were “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump and disparaging Hillary Clinton” as they staged political rallies and bought political advertising, while posing as grassroots entities.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova ridiculed the indictment, noting that 13 people could hardly have caused any real interference.
“13 against billions budgets of special agencies? Against intelligence and counterespionage, against the newest technologies? Absurd?–Yes,” she wrote on Facebook.
Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, who was among those indicted, also weighed in. Describing Americans as “emotional people,” he said that there was no reason to be “upset.”
“If they want to see the devil, let them,” Prigozhin told RIA Novosti.
Even US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had to admit that there were “no allegations” that this “information warfare” yielded any results and affected the outcome of the presidential election.
The indictment described the methods used by the defendants to meddle in the election, with some of them looking rather weird and naive. It said that, among other things, the perpetrators asked a US citizen to build a cage for someone to stand in dressed as Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform. The meddlers were also said to have used social media hashtags like #Trump2016 and #Hillary4Prison, and posted “derogatory information” about Clinton and other candidates online. The indictment did not provide the actual content of the comments.
US President Donald Trump quickly claimed vindication on Friday, noting in a tweet that the alleged interference efforts began in 2014—“long before I announced that I would run for President,” AP reported.
“The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong—no collusion!” he tweeted.
The indictment does not allege that any American knowingly participated in Russian meddling, or suggest that Trump campaign associates had more than “unwitting” contact with some of the defendants who posed as Americans during election season.
“This indictment serves as a reminder that people are not always who they appear to be on the internet,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Friday. “The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy. We must not allow them to succeed.”

 

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