Russian Woman Accused of Trying to Sway Midterms

Russian Woman Accused of Trying to Sway Midterms

President Donald Trump, asked about the Russian national charged with attempting to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections Friday, was quick to defend himself and repeat that there was "no collusion" with his campaign.

America's justice department disclosed the latest criminal complaint soon after United States intelligence agencies said they were concerned about efforts by Russia, Chinaand Iran to influence United States voters and policy. The statement, which provided no details about any such efforts, said, "These activities also may seek to influence voter perceptions and decision-making in the 2018 and 2020 US elections".

The Justice Department on Friday charged Elena Khusyaynova, 44, who is not in U.S. custody, with conspiracy for allegedly managing a $10 million, oligarch-funded scheme to manipulate United States voters through social media ads and web postings, much of it involving misinformation.

Prigozhin, sometimes dubbed "Putin's chef" because he has managed catering for the Russian leader, was already indicted in February along with 12 other IRA employees over their disinformation campaigns during the 2016 presidential election.

Federal prosecutors in Alexandria alleged that she worked on behalf of "Project Lakhta", an organization attempting to "to sow discord in the USA political system".

Who is undermining democracy?

Federal authorities have charged a Russian woman for allegedly taking part in a Russian plot to interfere in the upcoming 2018 midterms elections and other politically-charged events inside the United States, the DOJ announced, October 19, 2018.

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The announcement, which was joined by the Justice Department, FBI and Department of Homeland Security, comes on the eve of a trip National Security Advisor John Bolton is making to Moscow, where he is expected to raise the issue with his counterparts.

The Internet Research Agency "tampered with, altered, or caused a misappropriation of information with the goal or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes and institutions", specifically the 2016 U.S. presidential race, the Treasury Department said earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence blasted China in a speech saying Russia's influence efforts in America pale in comparison with the covert and overt activities of the Chinese to interfere in the midterms and counter Trump's tough trade policies against Beijing. USA officials have warned repeatedly about foreign attempts to influence the 2018 Midterms.

Other countries are using social media to amplify divisive issues in American society and sponsor content in English-language media, such as Russia's RT and Sputnik news outlets, the security agencies' statement said.

It said there had not been any evidence that foreign hackers had compromised any election infrastructure such as voter registration databases or voting machines.

Some state and local governments, which run polling sites, have reported attempts to access their networks, but officials were able to "prevent access or quickly mitigate these attempts", the agencies said in a joint statement.

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