Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Mueller accuses 12 Russians of hacking the Hillary campaign

Mueller accuses 12 Russians of hacking the Hillary campaign

The latest indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers from Special Counsel Robert Mueller showed that cyber operatives attempted to hack into presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign servers on the same day that then-candidate Donald Trump called for Russia to do so.

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The White House is stressing that the new indictment against 12 Russian military intelligence officers contains no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the Trump campaign or that the hacking the Russians are accused of conducting affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

The special counsel investigation has produced more than 100 criminal counts against 32 people and three companies, according to a count from The New York Times. The 20 are four former Trump campaign and White House aides, three of whom have pleaded guilty to different crimes and agreed to co-operate, and 13 Russians accused of participating in a hidden but powerful social media campaign to sway US public opinion in the 2016 election. "Pure stupidity", he said, referring to Mueller's probe.

It was unclear whether the indictment might factor into Trump's meeting with Putin on Monday. Among those indictments includes three Trump associates who have pleaded guilty and 14 other Russian citizens.

"President Trump must be willing to confront Putin from a position of strength and demonstrate that there will be a serious price to pay for his ongoing aggression", Republican Senator John McCain said in a statement.

It was the most detailed United States accusation yet that Russian Federation meddled in the election with the eventual aim of trying to boost Republican Trump's campaign.

One attempt at interference noted in the indictment came hours after Trump, in a July 27, 2016, speech, suggested Russians look for emails that Clinton said she had deleted from her tenure as secretary of state.

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"What I'm about to tell you is off the record", said NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams, not realizing that the Department of Justice video stream was live.

But the indictment identifies the defendants as officers with Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, also known as GRU. Trump complained about the Russian Federation investigation hours before the indictment, saying the "stupidity" was making it "very hard to do something with Russian Federation".

Mueller is investigating whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation and whether the president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the Russian Federation investigation.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing", Trump said.

During a press conference early Friday with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, President Trump said he will be bringing up the issue of Russian election meddling at that time. "We would have a chance to have ... a very good relationship with President Putin".

After the indictments were announced, top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer called on Trump to cancel his meeting with Putin until Russian Federation takes steps to prove it won't interfere in future elections.

"If it is Russian Federation, which it probably is not, nobody knows who it is, but if it is Russian Federation, it's really bad for a different reason because it shows how little respect they have for our country when they would hack into a major party and get everything", Trump said.

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