President Trump launched into a remarkable angry and error-ridden tweetstorm over the weekend, following the Justice Department’s decision to indict 13 Russians for interfering with the 2016 presidential election. In a string of 10 Twitter messages, Trump lashed out at Democrats, the Mueller investigation, the Obama administration, his own national security adviser and the FBI, which he falsely accused of spending so many resources on the Russia investigation that it missed warning signs about school shooter Nikolas Cruz, who killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last week.
In one of the messages sent from his private Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump tweeted, “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. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!”
In another message, Trump tweeted, “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign–there is no collusion.” Trump also attacked National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster for his comments to world leaders at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
H.R. McMaster: “And as you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible.”
In response, Trump tweeted, “General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems…” “Crooked H” is a reference to his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. The Washington Post reports many European leaders at the Munich Security Conference were confused and alarmed by President Trump’s tweetstorm this weekend and Trump’s attack on his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster. The Post reports that one anonymous European diplomat suggested H.R. McMaster and other U.S. officials may be following in the footsteps of German government officials who continued to serve during Hitler’s rise, ostensibly in the name of protecting the country.
President Trump’s tweetstorm came after the Justice Department indicted 13 Russians and three companies for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Friday’s sprawling indictment charges the Russians orchestrated a propaganda effort that began in 2014 to undermine the U.S. election system and then developed into an effort to help Donald Trump win.
The indictment says the effort, coordinated by Russia’s Internet Research Agency, included Russians posing as political activists, stealing the identities of U.S. citizens, and further politicized issues of immigration, race and religion, in efforts to push American voters to choose Trump over his rival, Hillary Clinton. This indictment also alleges some Russians were in contact with people associated with Trump’s campaign, although it does not allege Trump’s campaign was aware of the propaganda effort or that there was any collusion. This is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, announcing the indictments Friday.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein: “The indictment charges 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States’ political system, including the 2016 presidential election. The defendants allegedly conducted what they called 'information warfare' against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”
Meanwhile, in news on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference, Trump’s former deputy campaign manager Richard Gates will plead guilty to wire fraud and will testify against Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.