Russia's Internet Research Agency "had a strategic goal to sow discord in the USA political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election", the indictment said. Some of those charged, posing as Americans, communicated with individuals associated with the Trump campaign, according to the committee.
It allegedly involved "hundreds" of people working in shifts and with a budget of millions of dollars. But the company hadn't revealed how those ads were funded without raising suspicion of foreign political interference-at least in some cases, it seems, by sending payments accounts created with stolen American identities.
Moscow dismissed the allegations as "absurd". To do so, the suspects used social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as a way to spread propaganda to U.S. voters.
The group was allegedly in contact with "unwitting" members of the Trump campaign, but had a broader "strategic goal to sow discord in the United States political system".
"This indictment serves as a reminder that people are not always who they appear to be on the Internet", Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, told reporters.
"For someone who seems to enjoy playing the role of campaign operative in America, you'd think Putin would have the confidence to allow free and fair elections in Russian Federation", he said. "The Trump campaign did nothing wrong - no collusion".
"I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal", Goldman said at the start of a two day tweetstorm, spanning Friday and Saturday. As a result, the Post story detailed, Trump has utterly failed to organize a serious national response to the threat of Russian sabotage of our next elections, even though intelligence officials continue to warn that it may already be in the works.
The statement by H.R. McMaster at the Munich Security Conference stood in stark contrast to Trump's oft repeated claim that Russian interference in his election victory was a hoax.
The allegations are a double-edged sword for Trump, who has repeatedly dismissed claims of Russian interference as "fake news" and a "hoax" created to take away from his election victory.More news: State of emergency declared in Ethiopia
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said that the alleged actions laid out in the indictments are a direct assault against the people of the USA and its democracy.
Russian Federation is also suspected of hacking and leaking embarrassing Democratic e-mails.
"It has been clear to everyone (except Donald Trump) that Russian Federation was deeply involved in the 2016 election and intends to be involved in 2018", Sanders tweeted.
Another adviser to the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, has already pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Two defendants traveled to the U.S.in June 2014 to gather intelligence on social media sites and identify targets for their operations, the indictment alleges. One of them is "conspiracy to defraud the United States".
While speaking online with an American affiliated with a Texas-based grassroots organization, IRA operatives were told that they should focus on "purple states like Colorado, Virginia & Florida".
In Russia, news of the indictments was met with more scorn.
"It's likely that there are other things to drop", Moore stated.
In particular, Prigozhin has demanded that Yandex delete its links to [Russian investigative news outlet] Novaya Gazeta's report about the "troll factory," [another Russian outlet] Fontanka's report about Prigozhin's "business empire" in military communities (specifically, his state contracts with the Defense Ministry), and an article about military communities published on the Ukrainian news website Apostrof, with the headline "On Putin's Thieving Chef".