The Justice Department’s charges filed against 13 Russian nationals for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election have not been taken seriously by Russian officials.
In fact, some, including Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, have considered the indictment so absurd that it could be the work of a professional comedian.
"I sometimes get the impression that ... behind these statements that are made in the U.S. are some of their most popular comedians, maybe Jim Carrey,” she said, reports state news agency Tass.
According to Tass, Zakharova noted during a talk show on state Rossiya-1 TV that “it's really very ridiculous to blame 13 Russians from a legal company with influence on the U.S. election and seriously discuss it as evidence."
The indictment issued Feb. 16 alleges a businessman linked to President Vladimir Putin and a dozen other Russians ran a "troll farm" that created false social media content.
The indictment – the first filed against Russian nationals as part of Mueller’s probe – effectively returns focus to the meddling activities out of Russia in the run-up to the 2016 election, following a string of charges relating to the actions of Trump associates.
Further, the DOJ made clear that the indictment does not allege that any of the interference changed the outcome of the presidential race. (FoxNews.com)
"The nationals had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election," the indictment states, noting that the actors spent $1.2 million for the interference operation.