RNC spokesperson: Mueller indictments prove Russians worked to hurt Trump

Republican National Committee (RNC) spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany claimed Friday that an indictment charging 13 Russian nationals with allegedly attempting to interfere in the 2016 election proved that Russians harbored bias against President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE as well.

Pointing to details in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's indictment of more than a dozen Russian nationals, McEnany noted that Russian-controlled groups allegedly organized rallies protesting Trump's election at least twice following his victory over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Polls flash warning signs for Trump Polls suggest Sanders may be underestimated 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall MORE.

"BREAKING: DOJ reveals Russians organized AGAINST Trump on Nov. 12th and 19th of 2016!!" McEnany tweeted, referring to dates after the Nov. 8 election.

In an appearance on Fox News, McEnany doubled down on the claim, saying the "Russia collusion conspiracy theory" had "unraveled."


"Today marks the day that the Democrats' Russia collusion conspiracy theory unraveled," she said. "We learned that the Russians were also organizing for Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE. We learned that in late November of 2016, they then turned their efforts to be against President Trump."

"Democrats deceived this country," she added, "and they were caught today."

An indictment from the special counsel's office Friday accused Russian-controlled groups of organizing rallies both in support and opposition to Trump in the days following the election, including anti-Trump rallies that occurred in New York and North Carolina on the days the RNC spokeswoman referenced.

"After the election of Donald Trump in or around November 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators used false U.S. personas to organize and coordinate U.S. political rallies in support of then president-elect Trump, while simultaneously using other false U.S. personas to organize and coordinate U.S. political rallies protesting the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election," the indictment reads.

The indictment maintained, however, that the overall goal of the Russian groups and individuals who were charged was to support Trump's campaign while hurting the campaign of Clinton, his Democratic rival. It also alleged that some defendants, while posing as U.S. citizens, communicated with "unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities."

All of the defendants named in Friday's indictment face charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, while some also face charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

The indictments Friday followed previous charges stemming from the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia that ensnared former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortTrial of ex-Obama White House counsel suddenly postponed Top Mueller probe prosecutor to join Georgetown Law as lecturer DOJ releases notes from official Bruce Ohr's Russia probe interviews MORE, Manafort's business associate Richard Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump adviser George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios Papadopoulos10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall Flynn, Papadopoulos to speak at event preparing 'social media warriors' for 'digital civil war' Judge dismisses DNC lawsuit against Trump campaign, Russia over election interference MORE.

Flynn and Papadopoulos have both pleaded guilty to lying to investigators. Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty in October. CNN reported Thursday that Gates was nearing a plea deal with Mueller's team.

The charges unveiled Friday were the first in Mueller's probe dealing specifically with Russia's alleged efforts to meddle in the 2016 election, the primary focus of his probe.