Ex-CIA chief on new Mueller indictments: Claims of a 'hoax' are 'in tatters'
© Greg Nash

Former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanWebb: Questions for Robert Mueller A brief timeline of Trump's clashes with intelligence director Dan Coats Trump critic Brennan praises his Iran decision: I 'applaud' him MORE said Friday that claims the ongoing Russia investigation are a "hoax," as have been made by President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE, are now "in tatters" after new indictments by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE.

“[Justice Department] statement and indictments reveal the extent and motivations of Russian interference in 2016 election,” Brennan tweeted. “Claims of a ‘hoax’ in tatters. My take: Implausible that Russian actions did not influence the views and votes of at least some Americans." 

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWhy the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing Rosenstein: Trump should focus on preventing people from 'becoming violent white supremacists' MORE announced the slew of indictments at a press briefing on Friday. Thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian groups were charged with multiple counts as part of alleged attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.

The indictment notes that the Russians’ efforts to influence the U.S. election began in 2014.

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Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on Russian interference in the 2016 election, calling it a “hoax” crafted by Democrats. He’s also labeled Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.”

In a tweet Friday, Trump claimed the indictment showed his campaign “did nothing wrong” and that there was “no collusion” with Russia.

The indictment claims that the 13 individuals and 3 groups of were connected to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian operation based in St. Petersburg that used social networks to spread divisive messages in the lead-up to the 2016 elections.

“The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy,” Rosenstein said.

The indictment alleges the goal of the Russians was to support then-candidate Trump and hurt Democratic opponent Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonLewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Fighter pilot vs. astronaut match-up in Arizona could determine control of Senate Progressive Democrats' turnout plans simply don't add up MORE.

Some of the Russians allegedly posed as U.S. people and communicated with “unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.”

Rosenstein noted that there is no allegation in the indictment that Americans had any knowledge of the operation being conducted by Russians.

Trump has attacked Brennan in the past, labeling him a “political hack.” Brennan shot back in November, saying Trump attacked him in order to cast doubt on the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 election.