"Russians Did Not Alter The Outcome Of The Elections": Highlights From Rosenstein's Press Conference

Shortly after the unveiling of the Mueller indictment against 13 Russian "specialists" and 3 Russian entities accused of hacking the US elections, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein held a brief news conference to summarize the findings.

Below are the highlights from the conference along with clips:

"The indictment charges 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States political system, including the 2016 presidential election"

Also notable "The defendants allegedly conducted what they called 'information warfare' against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general", note that candidates was plural, and not just Hillary or Trump.

2 defendants allegedly traveled to US in 2014 to collect intelligence for American influence operations, Rosenstein says; in order to hide Russian origins, they allegedly purchased space on computer servers in US in order to set up virtual private network

"The [Russian] defendants allegedly used that infrastructure to establish hundreds of accounts on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, making it appear those accounts were controlled by persons located in the United States,"

"The Russians "also recruited & paid real Americans to engage in political activities, promote political campaigns & stage political rallies...according to the indictment, the Americans did not know they were communicating with Russians"

"Have you had any assurances by the Russians that they will provide these individuals for prosecution?"
Rosenstein: "We have no communications with the Russians about this. We will follow the ordinary process of seeking cooperation and extradition."

 

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However, the punchline, and what sent stocks higher, and appears to have absolved the Trump administration of the collusion narrative that has dominated for over a year, was the following statement from the deputy AG:

"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the [Russians'] conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election."

 

Oh, and this:

  • U.S. DEPUTY AG ROSENSTEIN SAYS AFTER THE ELECTION, RUSSIANS STAGED RALLIES BOTH TO SUPPORT AND TO OPPOSE TRUMP

To summarize: in 2014, 13 Russians launched a campaign to interfere with the US political system by "disparaging" candidates. This continued until ultimately Trump was elected, meanwhile, "there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the [Russians'] conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election."