Russia indictments undercut Trump's denials

President Trump has often scoffed at the notion that Russia was behind the hacking of a Democratic National Committee server. On Friday afternoon, his ridicule was again called into question.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officials in connection with the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s computer server and subsequent leaking of emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, the latest charges in special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe into Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 election.

All 12 of the defendants worked for the GRU, the main military foreign-intelligence service of the Russian Federation.

According to the charges released Friday, the defendants accessed the email accounts of volunteers and employees of the Clinton campaign, including Chairman John Podesta, beginning in March 2016. “They also hacked into the computer networks of a congressional campaign committee and a national political committee,” Rosenstein said. “The defendants covertly monitored the computers, implanted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code, and stole emails and other documents.”

RELATED: Charges brought against 12 Russian spies for alleged 2016 election hacking

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Charges brought against 12 Russian spies for alleged 2016 election hacking
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Charges brought against 12 Russian spies for alleged 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
U.S. grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking
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The Russian operatives “created fictitious online personas,” including “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0,” Rosenstein said, adding that the group falsely claimed DCLeaks was started by a group of American hackers and that Guccifer 2.0 was “a lone Romanian hacker.”

“In addition to releasing documents directly to the public,” Rosenstein added, “the defendants transferred stolen documents to another organization” and “discussed timing the release of the documents in an attempt to enhance the impact on the election.”

The organization was not named in the indictment, but it is widely speculated that the unnamed entity is WikiLeaks.

Rosenstein said he briefed Trump on the allegations earlier this week. The president, who is Europe and scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Sunday, is “fully aware of today’s actions,” Rosenstein added.

When asked about his upcoming summit with Putin earlier Friday morning, Trump said he would raise the issue with the Russian president but didn’t expect a “Perry Mason moment.”

RELATED: All of President Trump's tweets about the Mueller Russia probe

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Trump's tweets about the Mueller Russia probe
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Trump's tweets about the Mueller Russia probe
So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were “leaked” to the media. No questions on Col… https://t.co/T2n7SAWgJp
There was no Collusion (it is a Hoax) and there is no Obstruction of Justice (that is a setup & trap). What there i… https://t.co/WU8JFuWLJi
House Intelligence Committee rules that there was NO COLLUSION between the Trump Campaign and Russia. As I have bee… https://t.co/n4809kuVx3
Just Out: House Intelligence Committee Report released. “No evidence” that the Trump Campaign “colluded, coordinate… https://t.co/3erasoPL4N
This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion an… https://t.co/GPYj4JbKgN
It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened! Witch Hunt!
This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!
You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA
“Russians had no compromising information on Donald Trump” @FoxNews Of course not, because there is none, and neve… https://t.co/R9sniNq1ar
Congratulations to @ABC News for suspending Brian Ross for his horrendously inaccurate and dishonest report on the… https://t.co/wEVP4iGN6n
The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was base… https://t.co/oMCKEA7WmJ
The 13 Angry Democrats in charge of the Russian Witch Hunt are starting to find out that there is a Court System in… https://t.co/W32TtSNOrw
A must watch: Legal Scholar Alan Dershowitz was just on @foxandfriends talking of what is going on with respect to… https://t.co/EZ7cdgtUUo
A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!
A complete Witch Hunt!
The Russia Witch Hunt is rapidly losing credibility. House Intelligence Committee found No Collusion, Coordination… https://t.co/MMfLEunjG6
The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems… https://t.co/j7rc1QKCLw
James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classif… https://t.co/YfMYBrTkza
As the phony Russian Witch Hunt continues, two groups are laughing at this excuse for a lost election taking hold, Democrats and Russians!
...case against him & now wants to clear his name by showing "the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan..." Witch Hunt!
The MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN agenda is doing very well despite the distraction of the Witch Hunt. Many new jobs, high business enthusiasm,..
Jared Kushner did very well yesterday in proving he did not collude with the Russians. Witch Hunt. Next up, 11 year old Barron Trump!
When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?
My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!
Despite the phony Witch Hunt going on in America, the economic & jobs numbers are great. Regulations way down, jobs and enthusiasm way up!
A total WITCH HUNT with massive conflicts of interest!
Is this Phony Witch Hunt going to go on even longer so it wrongfully impacts the Mid-Term Elections, which is what… https://t.co/7LtsbGyV80
The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was base… https://t.co/oMCKEA7WmJ
Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democr… https://t.co/eA1AtTPv49
“Special Council is told to find crimes, whether a crime exists or not. I was opposed to the selection of Mueller t… https://t.co/KYsOPqiVBG
I have agreed with the historically cooperative, disciplined approach that we have engaged in with Robert Mueller (… https://t.co/yjSuYhmzJb
Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? An… https://t.co/wKNAVhWJcz
If I wanted to fire Robert Mueller in December, as reported by the Failing New York Times, I would have fired him.… https://t.co/wi7FDNjqK7
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Trump has long sought to undermine the Russia investigation and has repeatedly referred to Mueller’s probe — which has now resulted in 32 individual indictments and five guilty pleas — as a “witch hunt.”

During the 2016 campaign, Trump taunted Clinton and the FBI — which had been investigating her use of a private email server — by publicly calling on Russia to locate her emails.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said on July 27.

According to the indictment released Friday, Russian operatives targeted Clinton’s personal emails “for the first time” the same day.

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