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Lavrov dismisses election interference charges as 'blather'

18 February 2018

"By 2016, defendants and their co-conspirators used their fictitious online persons to interfere with the 2016 USA presidential election", the indictment says.

Meanwhile, RIA news agency cited the Russian presidential envoy as saying there is no evidence behind the U.S. indictments and said Moscow has given multiple explanations on what Washington called "Russian meddling efforts".

The indictment alleges that the Internet Research Agency, a St. Petersburg-based social media company with Kremlin ties, 12 of its employees, and its financial backer orchestrated an effort to influence the 2016 election campaign in favor of President Donald Trump.

"Russian efforts to disrupt the 2016 USA election, in part by abusing social media platforms, go against everything we at Twitter believe".

"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American had any knowledge", Rosenstein said.

According to Time, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the charges during a press conference and said that the defendants conducted "information warfare" against the United States, with the intention of creating distrust towards the American political system and the presidential candidates.

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Although Russia's meddling in the 2016 election is a serious matter that must be addressed, Democratic abuses to weaponize USA law enforcement and intelligence agencies to win a presidential election represent grave threats to our democratic system.

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The indictment said Russians adopted false online personas to push divisive messages; travelled to the U.S. to collect intelligence, visiting 10 states; and staged political rallies while posing as Americans. As part of the inquiry, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has been charged with conspiring to defraud the U.S. by abetting with Ukraine, and to launder money.

Mueller charges that members of the group posed as USA citizens on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, posting content that reached "significant numbers" of Americans.

One of the defendants, the indictment said, created false online accounts to attract followers for their false claims. The indictment charges them with conspiracy to defraud the United States, according to the Department of Justice announcement reported by CNN.

The evidence against Russians charged with interfering in the U.S. election is "incontrovertible", but Moscow may rethink its strategy of trying to undermine Western democracies, U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Saturday. Although such efforts date back to 2014, the indictment charges that they eventually concentrated on the 2016 election and were directed to help the Trump campaign and disparage the Clinton campaign.

The indictment quotes the accused Russians' private conversations, a sure sign they were wiretapped.

"We also continue to work closely with the FBI, DHS and other companies to develop methods of protecting the country and the people who use our social network", he said.

After the election, they continued to spread confusion and chaos, staging rallies both for and against Mr. Trump, in one case on the same day and in the same city.

Lavrov dismisses election interference charges as 'blather'