SEVERE WX : Winter Storm Warning - Blizzard Warning View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Kremlin dismisses Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians

The Russian government denied Monday that it had interfered in the 2016 US election campaign in the Kremlin's first r...

Posted: Feb 19, 2018 1:59 PM
Updated: Feb 19, 2018 1:59 PM

The Russian government denied Monday that it had interfered in the 2016 US election campaign in the Kremlin's first remarks since 13 Russian nationals were indicted Friday on charges of conspiring to defraud the US.

Answering a question from CNN on a weekly telephone news conference, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said the indictments provided "no substantial evidence" of Russian meddling, and that there were "no indications that the Russian state could have been involved."

"We didn't see any substantial evidence of someone interfering in the domestic affairs," Peskov added. He said the US indictment "mentions Russian citizens, but we heard the accusations against the Russian state -- that the Russian state, the Kremlin and the Russian government were involved."

Special counsel Robert Mueller -- appointed by the US Justice Department to investigate Russian election meddling -- laid out charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities on Friday.

The sweeping indictment describes in detail an unprecedented, years-long effort by Russia to interfere with the US political system and the 2016 presidential election, affirming the longstanding conclusions of the US intelligence community. It is at odds with President Donald Trump's persistent questioning of those conclusions, which has continued throughout his first year in office.

The President has repeatedly called the investigations into his presidential campaign's potential collusion with Russia a "hoax," but on Sunday, Trump tried to clarify his stance.

"I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said 'it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer,'" Trump tweeted. "The Russian 'hoax' was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia - it never did!"

Trump also tweeted that the Russians were "laughing their asses off in Moscow" for the way Washington has handled the Russia investigations.

Russia has denied any involvement in the election, and Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion.

As recently as last week, three sources familiar with the President's thinking told CNN he remained unconvinced that Russia interfered in the presidential election.

On Monday, Peskov rejected the findings in Mueller's indictment, saying: "There are no indications that the Russian state could have been involved in this and there can't be any. So we still insist, we think such evidence lacks foundation, we don't think it's in any case comprehensive, we don't think it's fair and we can't agree with it."

"Russia has never interfered, doesn't have the habit of interfering in the domestic affairs of other countries, and is not doing it now," Peskov added.

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
27° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 17°
Albert Lea
Overcast
25° wxIcon
Hi: 21° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 14°
Austin
28° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 20°
Charles City
Overcast
27° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 14°
Rochester
Overcast
23° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 10°
Winter Storm Warning
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Chris and George at the top of the 10

Image

Snow plow drivers prep for snow

Image

Navigating Mayo Clinic Ambulances in the snow

Image

Snow and 18 Wheelers

Image

When to call 911

Image

Chris' PM Weather Forecast 1/17

Image

Tow truck drivers prepare for snow

Image

Weather impacts on public transportation

Image

First at 4 Snow Storm

Image

Winter Weather can't stop early voters

Community Events