White House: Russia indictment ‘consistent’ with claim of no collusion
The White House on Friday said the indictment of 12 Russians for hacking Democratic officials during the 2016 election is “consistent” with President Trump’s claim his campaign did not collude with Moscow’s election meddling.
“Today’s charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result,” White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters said in a statement. “This is consistent with what we have been saying all along.”
The statement is the White House’s first official reaction to the indictment, which will complicate Trump’s planned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
In announcing the charges, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the indicted Russians did communicate with Americans but that “there is no allegation in the indictment that the Americans knew they were communicating with Russian intelligence officers.”
Rosenstein, however, did not rule out future charges against Americans as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference in 2016.
The White House statement included no condemnation of Russia for their efforts to interfere in the election, which is the unanimous conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community.
Trump has been briefed on the charges but has yet to personally respond. Rosenstein announced the indictments as the president and first lady were having tea with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle to conclude his official visit to Great Britain.