President Donald Trump denies that his campaign colluded with Russia hours after thirteen Russians and three Russian companies were charged with conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election.
US prosecutors announced Friday that the Russians plotted to interfere in the election through social media propaganda aimed at helping Trump defeat his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Trump, however, denied the allegation once again and said in a tweet that his campaign had done "nothing wrong."
Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong - no collusion!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018
The federal indictment, which was brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, marks the first criminal charges against Russians believed to have clandestinely worked to influence the outcome of the election.
According to the indictment, the Russians along with the Internet Research Agency, a St. Petersburg-based troll farm, bought online advertisements in the names of US citizens whose identities they had stolen.
They then claimed they were US activists, operating social media groups with the purpose of attracting US audiences, it adds.
"Over time, these social media accounts became defendants' means to reach significant numbers of Americans for purposes of interfering with the US political system," the indictment reads.
The White House also issued a statement, saying the president urged his fellow citizens to "unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections."
"We cannot allow those seeking to sow confusion, discord, and rancor to be successful," Trump was quoted as saying.
"It's time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories, which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions."
Trump has repeatedly denied allegations that his campaign colluded with the Russians and has condemned the investigations. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also denied the allegations.
American intelligence agencies claimed in January last year that Moscow’s interference included a campaign of hacking and releasing embarrassing emails, and disseminating propaganda via social media to discredit Clinton’s campaign.