Rep. Trey Gowdy on Mueller indictments: "This is exactly what we wanted him to do"

Following the indictments of 13 Russian nationals for their involvement in meddling in the 2016 presidential election, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, says the charges tell Americans what some have known all along: "Russia is not our friend."

"Russia has tried to subvert the fundamentals of our democracy. For those of us who supported Bob Mueller from day one and said, 'Give him the time and the resources and independence to do his job,' this is his job. This is exactly what we wanted him to do," said Gowdy on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, referring to special counsel Robert Mueller.

On Friday, Mueller charged 13 Russians as well as three Russian companies with offenses relating to interference in the 2016 election. The indictment describes a sophisticated conspiracy involving the theft of U.S. identities, sowing discord on social media, communicating with unwitting Americans and even setting up political rallies from afar.

Gowdy said that all Americans must ward off Russia's attempts to use similar tactics in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

"Next cycle it could be a Republican. But Americans are the victims of what Russia did, not Republicans, not Democrats, all of us are victims," said Gowdy. "I would tell all my fellow citizens to be really skeptical of anything you read on social media and do your own independent research."

Meanwhile, just days after a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida left 17 dead, Gowdy said those critical of current gun laws in place need to take into account the "instrumentality by which that shooter is killing people."

"You should look at the instrumentality and magazine capacity and the speed with which the projectiles, including bump stocks. But you also have to look at the shooter," Gowdy said. "In almost half the instances of mass shootings, there was notice provided to someone that the person was going to do what, what he ultimately did."

He added, "If you only look at the instrumentality and you don't look at the person who's pulling the trigger, then I think you're doing a disservice to everyone who wants to see an end to killings, including mass killings."

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital