President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE on Friday declared that a new round of indictments in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s investigation show his campaign “did nothing wrong” and prove there was “no collusion” with Russia.
“Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for president,” Trump tweeted. “The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong — no collusion!”
Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong - no collusion!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018
Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE announced the indictments at a press briefing Friday. Thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian groups were charged with multiple counts as part of their attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.
Trump "has been fully briefed on this matter and is glad to see the special counsel’s investigation further indicates—that there was NO COLLUSION between the Trump campaign and Russia and that the outcome of the election was not changed or affected," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reiterated in a statement.
Federal investigators have not reached a conclusion about whether Russian meddling impacted the result of the election.
"There is no allegation in the indictment on the outcome of the election," Rosenstein noted Friday in the announcement.
The White House has not always acknowledged that the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is legitimate. Trump has previously referred to the probe, which expanded last year to include scrutiny of his campaign's alleged involvement, as a "witch hunt" and "hoax."
The indictment notes the Russians’ efforts to influence the U.S. election began in 2014 and 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 election.
“The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy,” Rosenstein said.
In a similar statement released by the White House, Trump said it is time "to come together as Americans."
"It’s time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories, which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions," Trump said. "We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections.”
The indictment alleges the goal of the Russians was to support then-candidate Trump and hurt Democratic opponent Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE.
It also says that some of the Russians 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.
The indictments are the latest round of charges brought in Mueller’s probe. Four former Trump associates people have been charged in the investigation, including former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ investigating one-time Trump campaign adviser over alleged ties to Qatar: report Foreign lobbyists donated over M during 2020 election: report Former Mueller prosecutor representing Donoghue in congressional probes: report MORE and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Updated at 3:44 p.m.