WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump repeated on Friday that his campaign for the 2016 presidential elections “did nothing wrong,” and said the charges filed Friday by the special counsel against 13 Russians show his team never colluded with the Kremlin.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
That was Trump’s reaction to the charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups for interfering in the 2016 presidential elections and conducting “information warfare” on the Internet against the United States, with the stated goal of “spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”
The special counsel currently has two lines of investigation open: one for Trump’s presumed obstruction of justice, notably in the dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey, and the other for the contacts members of the Trump campaign had with Russia during the elections.
In the latter case, Mueller seeks to determine whether members of Trump’s campaign helped the Russians interfere in the 2016 elections by means of cyberattacks, something US intelligence agencies consider a fact, but which Russian President Vladimir Putin has categorically denied.
Nonetheless, the intelligence agencies still puts Putin at the head of a conspiracy against the United States.
In a written statement Friday, Mueller said the 13 accused had aimed to sow discord in the US political system, and to do that, they used fake identities on social media to organize demonstrations, normally in favor of Trump and against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Mueller said that some of the 13 accused Russians interacted with Americans associated with the Trump campaign, but whose names he did not mention and who did not realize they were being manipulated.
Up to now, Mueller’s investigation of the Russia conspiracy has led to the trial of four people related to Trump: his former national security adviser in the White House, Michael Flynn; ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates; and another former adviser, George Papadopoulos, who worked for the magnate during the election.