Foreign: Trump Tweet Undercuts McMaster Russia Claims

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President Donald Trump tweeted late Saturday that his national security adviser’s contention that there was Russian interference in his election victory overlooks some key details.
Feb. 18, 2018, at 12:17 a.m.

The Latest: Trump Tweet Undercuts McMaster Russia Claims

The Associated Press
FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 file photo, businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, right, shows Russian President Vladimir Putin, second right, around his factory which produces school means, outside St. Petersburg, Russia. On Friday Feb. 16, 2018, Yevgeny Prigozhin along with 12 other Russians and three Russian organizations, were charged by the U.S. government as part of a vast and wide-ranging effort to sway political opinion during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.(Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File) The Associated Press

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MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the Russian response to U.S. indictments (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is undercutting a top aide again — this time national security adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster.

McMaster told an international audience that the evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 American election is beyond dispute. Trump tweeted late Saturday that McMaster left out some details.

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“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems. Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!” Trump was continuing his efforts to pin Russian collusion on the Democrats and their nominee Hillary Clinton.

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McMaster was answering a question from a Russian delegate at a Munich Security Conference on Saturday. Referring to the indictment of 13 Russians announced Friday, McMaster says “with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now incontrovertible” of Russia cyber-meddling

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6:15 p.m.

Russia’s former ambassador to the United States is dismissing detailed allegations of attempted Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election as “fantasies” rooted in domestic politics.

Former Ambassador Sergei Kislyak said at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday: “I’m not sure that I can trust American law enforcement to be the most precise and truthful source of information about what Russians do.”

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Kislyak’s comments came as top Russian and American officials exchanged barbs over Friday’s indictment of 13 Russians accused of an elaborate plot to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.

Kislyak said: “I have never done anything of this sort. None in my embassy did. So whatever allegations are being mounted against us are simply fantasies that are being used for political reasons inside the United States in the fight between different sides of the political divide.”

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The senior diplomat’s name has come up in the FBI and congressional investigations of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak before Trump’s inauguration.

3:45 p.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser has told an international audience that the evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 American election is beyond dispute.

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H.R. McMaster was answering a question from a Russian delegate, shortly after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov left the same stage at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

Referring to the indictment of 13 Russians announced Friday, McMaster says “with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now incontrovertible” of Russia cyber-meddling.

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He also scoffed at any move to work with Russia on cybersecurity, saying “we would love to have a cyber dialogue when Russia is sincere about curtailing its sophisticated form of espionage.”

Lavrov, just moments earlier, had dismissed the indictments as “just blabber” through an interpreter.

3:05 p.m.

Russia’s foreign minister says the U.S. indictment of a group of Russians accused of an elaborate plot to disrupt the 2016 presidential election is “just blabber.”

Asked about the indictments Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, Sergey Lavrov replied: “I have no response. You can publish anything, and we see those indictments multiplying, the statements multiplying.” He argued that U.S. officials also have said no country influenced the U.S. election results.

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Lavrov added: “Until we see the facts, everything else is just blabber.”

The federal indictment brought Friday by U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller represents the most detailed allegations to date of illegal Russian meddling during the campaign that sent Donald Trump to the White House.

12:50 p.m.

One of the 13 Russians indicted by the United States for interfering in the American presidential election says the U.S. justice system is unfair.

Mikhail Burchik was quoted as saying by the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda that “I am very surprised that, in the opinion of the Washington court, several Russian people interfered in the elections in the United States. I do not know how the Americans came to this decision.”

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Burchik was identified in the indictment as executive director of an organization that allegedly sowed propaganda on social media to try to interfere with the 2016 election.

Burchik was quoted as saying Saturday that “they have one-sided justice, and it turns out that you can hang the blame on anyone.”

U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller brought the federal indictment Friday.

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