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Trump Fires Off Accusatory Tweet About Russian Hack

The president appears to blame President Obama
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2018 10:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – With 12 Russians indicted Friday for allegedly hacking the 2016 US election, President Trump is blaming an unexpected figure: President Obama, the Hill reports. "The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration," Trump tweeted Saturday. "Why didn't they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?" However, Obama did punish Russia with sanctions and the expulsion of 35 diplomats. Trump's administration, meanwhile, insists the indictments show no evidence of Russia collusion—although the hacks did begin hours after then-candidate Trump called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails. For more on the hack and indictments:

  • Key excerpts: "The conspirators covertly monitored the computers of dozens of DCCC and DNC employees, implanted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code ('malware'), and stole emails and other documents from the DCCC and DNC 5," per one of several indictment excerpts in the New York Times. The hackers are also accused of releasing stolen documents through a website dubbed "Organization 1" (apparently Wikileaks) and using "a network of computers located across the world, including the United States."
  • Roger Stone: The Trump confidant said Friday that he's "probably" the one mentioned in the indictments who messaged with the conspirators and was regularly in contact with top Trump campaign officials, USA Today reports. It's partly a reversal, since Stone told the Hill earlier that his Twitter messages with hackers were "benign" and he denied being the one named in the indictments "because I wasn't in regular contact with members of the Trump campaign."

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  • Bitcoin: CNN runs down six key indictment points, like "The Russian government really, really wanted to beat Clinton," "Voters are among the victims," and the fact that hackers used bitcoin. Per the last point: "The use of bitcoin allowed the conspirators to avoid direct relationships with traditional financial institutions, allowing them to evade greater scrutiny of their identities and sources of funds," the indictment says.
  • Mueller's tally: With these 12 indictments, special counsel Robert Mueller's team has either gotten guilty pleas or indictments from at least three companies and 32 people, Vox reports. Some areas of his probe, like possible obstruction of justice by Trump's administration, haven't led to indictments yet.
  • The nitty gritty: The Washington Post unpacks a few fascinating indictment details, like the hackers allegedly working for Russia's foreign military intelligence agency (the GRU) and stealing the personal information of about 500,000 US voters.
  • Putin summit: The indictments put added pressure on Trump to press Vladimir Putin about the hack during their summit Monday in Helsinki, the Wall Street Journal reports. "All I can say is, 'Did you?' and 'Don’t do it again.' All I can do is say it," Trump said Thursday, but "the indictment could give Mr. Trump fodder to challenge Mr. Putin’s denials," per the Journal.

See the indictments here or read about the unusual timing of the hack. (Read more Robert Mueller stories.)

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