Journalists slam Trump aide's 'repulsive' attack over Russia

Journalists lashed out at a White House spokesman on Saturday after the aide to President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE claimed that news media and Democrats have caused more "chaos" than Russia.

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley made the comments during an interview on Fox News while responding to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE's indictment of Russian nationals for meddling in the 2016 election.

"There are two groups that have created chaos more than the Russians and that’s the Democrats and the mainstream media,” Gidley asserted on Fox News.

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"[They] continued to push this lie on the American people for more than a year, and frankly Americans should be outraged by that."

The remark was widely panned by journalists, with reporters from The Associated Press, CNN, The Washington Post, Politico and other outlets calling the remark false. 

The Friday indictments from Mueller's team charged that 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations attempted to sow discord in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
 
The indictment provided the same assessment reached by the U.S. intelligence community last year that Russia interfered in the election in order to help Trump and hurt his Democratic rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton3 ways government can help clean up Twitter Intelligence Democrat: Stop using 'quid pro quo' to describe Trump allegations The Memo: Bloomberg's 2020 moves draw ire from Democrats MORE.
 
Trump and White House aides have pointed to the indictments, saying they show there was "no collusion" between his campaign and Russia during the election. Bloomberg reported Friday that Mueller's team hasn't finished its probe into whether Trump campaign associates conspired with Russia to influence the election.
 
Mueller's indictments released Friday did charge that some defendants, while posing as Americans, communicated with "unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities."

Gidley's comments followed claims by White House spokesman Raj Shah on Friday night that the indictments proved that the Russian operatives were not trying to actively help one candidate.

Shah made that claim despite Mueller's team explicitly concluding that the Russian efforts were aimed at helping Trump and hurting the campaigns of his political rivals.

Individuals named in Mueller's indictments have also questioned the validity of the U.S. intelligence community and justice system in issuing the charges.

One former Clinton campaign aide remarked Saturday that Gidley's remarks amounted to defense of the Russians named in the report.

Mueller's indictment charges that Russians employed hackers and internet trolls as part of its online propaganda campaign, spreading misleading and inflammatory political news on social media sites. Investigators linked much of the social media influence to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian "troll farm."