President Trump no longer claims that Russian interference in the 2016 elections is a hoax. He no longer claims that it is a fabrication. Not after Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller today indicted 13 Russians for conspiracy to defraud the United States. The indictment lists in detail the activities of Russians doing their best to interfere in the elections. In addition, three defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft.
Mueller did not appear to announce the charges. That duty was left to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein instead. "The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general," Rosenstein said.
Mueller had convened a grand jury as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as any possible connections between Russia and Trump campaign associates.
The sweeping indictment describes in detail an unprecedented campaign by Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, affirming the longstanding conclusions of the US intelligence community. It is at odds with President Donald Trump's repeated questioning of those conclusions, which has continued throughout his first year in office.
While the Fake News loves to talk about my so-called low approval rating, @foxandfriends just showed that my rating on Dec. 28, 2017, was approximately the same as President Obama on Dec. 28, 2009, which was 47%...and this despite massive negative Trump coverage & Russia hoax!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
Beginning as early as 2014, the Russian organization Internet Research Agency began operations to interfere with the US political system, including the 2016 elections, according to the indictment.