Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Bitcoin Was Russian Hackers' Currency of Choice, U.S. Says

Vladimir Putin extends ban on Western food imports Russian President Vladimir Putin
Lisa Bryan | 15 July, 2018, 08:48

Twelve Russian spies have been charged with running a sweeping hacking campaign to damage Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US presidential election - with the indictment landing three days before Donald Trump is set to meet Vladimir Putin.

According to the indictment, the 12 are members of the GRU, a Russian Federation intelligence agency within the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian military.

The indictment was announced at nearly exactly the moment that Trump rolled into the quadrangle of Windsor Castle to meet the awaiting Queen Elizabeth II in the symbolic highpoint of his visit to Britain.

During a joint news conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, Mr Trump said he would "absolutely" ask the Russian president about alleged election meddling.

"This indictment could have been brought by ordinary prosecutors, ordinary Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, there's no conflict here, it's Russians they are going after", he added.

Strzok has been under fire for anti-Trump texts he exchanged with an FBI lawyer with whom he was having an affair while he worked on investigations into both the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation and Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information.

The letter was signed by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who was among those who on Friday called on Trump to cancel the summit, and the top Democrats on the Senate Intelligence, Armed Services, Foreign Relations and other national security-related committees.

Without naming the state, Friday's indictment said the Russian intelligence officers stole information on about 500,000 voters from the website of one board of elections, a breach that went undetected for three weeks.

Russia's president Vladimir Putin (L) and United States president Donald Trump during a photo session of world leaders on the closing day of the 25th APEC Summit.


"The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administrations", Trump said on Twitter.

On Saturday, Twitter suspended two accounts allegedly used by Russian officials to spread information hacked from Democrats' computers and email accounts during the 2016 US presidential election.

In the meantime, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that they should not expect a joint communique when both presidents meet.

Clinton campaign manager John Podesta's emails were also hacked, which contained details of infighting and aides' disparaging remarks about Mrs Clinton.

Around June 2016, they began releasing tens of thousands of the stolen emails and documents using "fictitious online personas, including "DCLeaks" and 'Guccifer 2.0, '" the indictment said.

The charges put an even greater spotlight on Trump's treatment of Putin, who has denied making efforts to intervene in the US election that Trump, a Republican, unexpectedly won.

Mueller did not allege that Trump campaign associates were involved in the hacking effort, that Americans were knowingly in touch with Russian intelligence officers or that any vote tallies were altered by hacking. Trump is scheduled to meet Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mueller though wants to know if a series of campaign contacts with Russian and Russia-linked persons add up to more, possibly a conspiracy to illegally skew the presidential race.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates were charged with money laundering relating to their political consultancy work in Ukraine.

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