A spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry compared the U.S. indictment of 13 Russians for meddling in U.S. elections to that of a joke made by comedian Jim Carrey.
“I sometimes get an impression that some popular comedians like Jim Carrey are behind the decisions the U.S. takes and the statements its makes,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Russia 1 TV’s Sunday Evening Show. “I do not know who really comes up with such strategies, but it is really very funny: to accuse some 13 people from a [regular Russian] company of influencing the U.S. elections and then to discuss it with a straight face as some sort of… evidence.”
U.S. officials “seek to somehow slow down this internal political crisis in the U.S. but they do not seem to have much success in that,” Zakharova added.
The Feb. 16 indictment alleges that 13 Russians and three Russian companies interfered in the 2016 Presidential election by plotting “information warfare” against the U.S.
Three defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants were charged with aggravated identity theft.
The defendants posed as U.S. personas and created social media accounts and group pages to reach U.S. audiences. The content was designed to oppose Hillary Clinton, according to the indictment.
“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said. “There is no allegation in the indictment that the charge conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”
Russia has denied meddling in the 2016 Presidential election, and President Donald Trump has repeatedly said the Trump campaign was not involved in any collusion with Russia.