Sanders: Russian election interference has been clear to everyone except Trump

Sanders: Russian election interference has been clear to everyone except Trump
© Camille Fine

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersVolatile presidential polls spark new round of anxieties GOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' British Bookmaker: Warren has replaced Biden as Democratic primary favorite MORE (I-Vt.) said Friday that Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and intent to get involved in this year's midterm elections “has been clear to everyone" except President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE.

“It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs,” Sanders said in a statement.

“It is absolutely imperative that the Mueller investigation be allowed to go forward without obstruction from the Trump administration or Congress,” he continued.

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Sanders's statement comes on the heels of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE’s indictment Friday of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups for allegedly interfering in the 2016 election.

The charges allege that Sanders was one of the candidates that Russians sought to support during the campaign. Sanders, an Independent senator who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, did not address his campaign being mentioned in the charges against the Russians.

Overall, the special counsel's office alleges that Russians interfered in the 2016 election with the aim of helping Trump's campaign and hurting Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAre Democrats turning Trump-like? The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE, the eventual Democratic nominee.

It also alleges that some defendants, while posing as U.S. people, communicated with "unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities."

Democrats have said the indictments disprove Trump’s past claims that Mueller’s probe is a “witch hunt,” while Trump on Friday responded to the charges by claiming "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," Trump asserted.