Russians accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 US election

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The US has indicted 12 Russian military officers for hacking the Democratic National Committee and other targets and leaking the stolen materials during the 2016 presidential election.

Clinton campaign manager John Podesta's emails were also hacked, which contained details of infighting and aides' disparaging remarks about Mrs Clinton.

The Kremlin denied anew that it tried to sway the election.

Mueller is investigating whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation and whether the president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the Russian Federation investigation. The case follows after a separate indictment that accused Russians of using social media to sow discord among American voters.

In August 2016, the indictment says, "the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, sent a reporter stolen documents pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement, The reporter responded by discussing when to release the documents and offering to write an article about their release".

The unfolding drama on both sides of the Atlantic reflected how Trump's presidency has been overshadowed by the Mueller probe from its earliest moments and how the investigation frequently tramples the President's attempts to carve out favorable headlines.

Mueller did not allege that Trump campaign associates were involved in the hacking effort, that Americans were knowingly in touch with Russian intelligence officers or that any vote tallies were altered by hacking. Some in the indictments also hacked into state election board databases.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus moved a step closer to that on Friday, around the same time Rosenstein was announcing new indictments against a dozen Russian intelligence officers who interfered in the 2016 United States presidential election, Politico reported on Friday. Instead it focused on the fact that no Trump campaign officials or Americans were implicated in the new indictment.

Rosenstein said there is no allegation that USA citizens were involved in the alleged crimes described in the indictment.

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Second, Friday's move is typical in that Mueller's indictments tend to always seem a bit surprising in their breadth, indicating that the investigation is a little broader, a little farther along, and a little more wide-ranging than many observers think.

"The Russian state has never interfered and has no intention of interfering in the U.S. elections", Mr Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said.

The GRU, which answers to the Russian military's General Staff, is part of the state machine and its involvement would indicate that the orders to interfere in the USA election came from the very top.

"I would call it the rigged witch hunt", Mr. Trump said.

That evening, the indictment says, the Russians attempted to break into email accounts used by Clinton's personal office, along with 76 Clinton campaign email addresses. 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". "If President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the #HelsinkiSummit should not move forward", McCain said in a series of tweets Friday.

Despite the most recent indictment, the Trump-Putin meeting is "still on", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Mr Trump said at a news conference on Friday near London with British Prime Minister Theresa May that he was not going into the meeting with Mr Putin with "high expectations". "But it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation".

"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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