A spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman says the U.S. indictment charging 13 Russians with trying to influence the U.S. presidential election is ridiculous enough to be the work of a professional comedian.
State news agency Tass quoted ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying Sunday: “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.”
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.
“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel probe, said at a Friday press conference.
Tass says Zakharova commented during a talk show on state Rossiya-1 TV: “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 Associated Press contributed to this report