Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Lavrov: No evidence of Russian interference in U.S. presidential elections

President Donald Trump's longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller will reportedly be questioned over a 2013 trip Trump took to Moscow Lavrov: No evidence of Russian interference in U.S. presidential elections
Melinda Barton | 01 November, 2017, 18:37

Trump said in July that Russian Federation "could well have interfered", but that "nobody knows for sure". "The Fake News is working overtime, he tweeted, adding that Manafort's lawyer had said "there was no collusion".

"Moscow has never felt guilty to feel vindicated now", Peskov said when asked whether Russian Federation felt vindicated after Manafort was accused of cooperating with Ukraine rather than with Russian Federation. "Check the DEMS!" Trump continued, in reference to a guilty plea by unpaid advisor George Papadopoulos.

Allegations of Russian meddling in elections in the United States and Europe are "fantasies", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says.

"Without a single piece of proof, we are as you know being accused of meddling not only in the USA election, but also in those in European states", the agency quoted Lavrov as telling a briefing at the Association of European Businesses in Russian Federation.

"On the pretext of fighting against a Russian threat Washington not only tries to mend so-called Atlantic solidarity, not only to make Europeans increase defense spending, but also to gain a stronger foothold in the European economy and energy industry, to downgrade our joint projects in energy, and to elbow Russia out of the energy markets". Washington's latest sanctions against Moscow were created to weaken Russia's position - in the arms export and energy sectors - to benefit the United States, according to Lavrov. A former business associate of Manafort's, Richard Gates, pleaded not guilty to the five charges he faces.

Court documents unsealed on October 30 also showed that George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser for Trump's presidential campaign who was arrested in July, pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russians.

The professor, who promised "dirt" on Hillary Clinton to former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos, is now a central figure in Mueller's special counsel probe.

USA intelligence officials concluded in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an "influence campaign" targeting the 2016 election in the United States, aiming to undermine confidence in the US democracy, tarnish the reputation of Trump's rival, Hillary Clinton, and help Trump.

Court documents show Papadopoulos claimed to have discussed the matter with top campaign officials, who encouraged him to pursue the contacts.