Trump says Russia succeeding in sowing US discord

Sunday, February 18, 2018

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WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — President Donald Trump, hitting out at the probes and congressional hearings into Russian election meddling, said Sunday Moscow is succeeding beyond its "wildest dreams" if its intention is to sow discord within the United States.

"They are laughing their a..es off in Moscow. Get smart America!" Trump said in an early morning tweet.

It was one of a series of tweets posted by Trump in the wake of the indictments filed Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller against 13 Russians for meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

The indictments lay out in detail an elaborate effort by Russians using social media and agents on the ground to accentuate political divisions to sway the election in favor Trump and against his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Trump has so far refrained from directly taking on Russia even though US intelligence chiefs warned that the interference was continuing and likely to target the upcoming US midterm elections.

"If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams," Trump said.

In another tweet minutes before, he said: "I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said 'it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.'"

"The Russian 'hoax' was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia - it never did!"

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