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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responds charges in meddling probe

Russians indicted for meddling in election
Russians indicted for meddling in 2016 election 04:21

Russia's foreign minister is disputing the indictments of 13 Russian nationals and three entities accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election through social media propaganda. Speaking from Moscow on Friday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia "could not and did not" interfere with the election and said the lack of evidence proved this.

"Some state interference in the pre-election process is still being discussed, but I have not seen a single fact," Lavrov said on the Euronews TV channel, adding that he hadn't seen a single fact brought forth by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. "In the U.S., if there was any [small] fire there, the smoke would be immediately visible."

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced charges against 12 of the defendants who at some point worked for the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm, in St. Petersburg. The workers allegedly set up a virtual private network in the U.S. and made it appear that the social media accounts were controlled by users in the U.S.

DOJ indicts Russians for meddling in 2016 election 01:26

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is accused of funding the Internet Research Agency. Speaking to Russia's state news agency, Prigozhin called Americans "very impressionable people" and said he's not upset to be named in the indictment, adding that Americans "see what they want to see."

Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray briefed President Trump on the indictments Friday, CBS News' Major Garrett reports, according to two sources familiar with the talks. They told him that that the indictments did not allege cooperation or collusion with Trump campaign. 

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