Administration

White House: Russian efforts ‘not about supporting one candidate over the other’

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White House spokesman Raj Shah on Friday claimed that new indictments in the Russia probe prove that the Russians did not try to promote one presidential candidate over another in 2016, despite the special counsel charging the opposite.

The indictment, which targets 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups, details alleged attempts to promote President Trump’s campaign while undermining his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

“All of these efforts were about sowing confusion in the electoral process and undermining the next president, not about supporting one candidate over the other,” Shah asserted during an appearance on Fox News.

The fourth page of the 37-page indictment accuses the charged individuals and organizations of carrying out efforts to promote Trump’s campaign and “disparage” Clinton.

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“Defendants’ operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump (‘Trump campaign’) and disparaging Hillary Clinton,” the indictment reads. “Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities.”

The indictment alleges that the operatives worked to promote the campaigns of Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and attack Clinton, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), while also attempting to convince minority voters to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Shah also claimed that the indictments prove there was “no collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia, echoing the president’s response to the indictments.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at a press briefing that Friday’s indictments do not allege that any Americans had any knowledge of the operation, or that it affected the outcome of the election.

Trump has repeatedly said that there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia. The investigation into whether there was collusion is ongoing. 

Tags Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Marco Rubio Rod Rosenstein Ted Cruz

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