RUSH: The special counsel, in breaking news, has indicted 16 Russians. I didn’t know there were any Russians in this scandal. We have this Russian-collusion scandal; I didn’t know there were any. Mueller has indicted 16 of them for “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump … and disparaging Hillary Clinton.” What the heck is that? I’ve never heard of anything like this. How can it be a crime to disparage Hillary and support Trump if you’re Russians? Supporting…? Well, they’ve been indicted for interference, but it’s not detailed how.
It’s a Grand Jury thing. It’s a ham-sandwich indictment, and that’s just pretty much all we have on it right now. “The special counsel’s office said today a federal grand jury indicted 16 Russian nationals and three Russian entities in the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The indictments say that the defendants allegedly, by early to mid-2016, were supporting the presidential campaign of then candidate Donald J. Trump … and disparaging Hillary Clinton.”
Have you ever…? (laughing) They get indicted for this? I know there has to be more to this. But of all the things that were forecast and predicted that Mueller might do, I don’t remember anybody ever predicting that Russians would be indicted. We don’t have any names yet. I wonder if they’re some of the Russians that lied to Christopher Steele about his dossier. If you indict the Russians, how do you not indict Steele? You know what this sounds like to me, it sounds like this is as close as they can get to implicating Trump. “Here are some Russians! We found the Russians working to elect Trump.
“They committed offenses and we’re indicting them.” No evidence that they work with Trump, but that’s not going to matter. If “no more guns” works to advance a political agenda, well this can easily be converted. (interruption) No, they’re not going to… (laughing) Snerdley asked if they’re going to depose Putin, give Putin a subpoena. “An announcement from Mueller’s office said that the government accuses all the defendants of conspiracy to defraud the United States.” Here are the charges in a generic sense.
“Three defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. Five defendants are charged with aggravated identity theft.” (laughing) They’ve got nothing. I mean, identity theft? Wire fraud…? Do you know, if you send a stamp to somebody in a strange-looking way and you could be guilty of mail fraud? Mail fraud, bank fraud? These are… Identity theft? You’re telling me these guys didn’t have Lifelock? Of all the stupid things! You’re going to go out and try to steal somebody’s identity and you don’t have Lifelock in order to tell you whether you’re getting away with it. Unreal.
So we’ll continue to follow this. CNN has totally abandoned the gun-shooting story in Florida. Fox is talking about this. So the gun shooting, the school shooting in Florida has been swept off the lead items, the lead sections of broadcast news, cable news, newspapers, by this story. And we will continue to follow it.
RUSH: Okay. So let me see if I understand this. Here we are in the very white hot heat of a school shooting in Florida. It’s a Friday afternoon. The media is 150 percent into this story. And in the middle of this, on a Friday, we get a three-page story from CNBC saying there’s been an indictment of 16 Russians for traveling to the United States to disparage Hillary Clinton and aid in the election of Donald Trump and it’s wire fraud, mail fraud and identity theft.
My friends, I have disparaged Hillary Clinton. I wonder if I am in the indictment. This sounds like they’ve got nothing. This is a Friday afternoon document dump. There’s going to be a little press conference right in the middle of this. If you wanted your news heard, you wouldn’t do this today. If you had blockbuster news of indictments, you wouldn’t be doing it today, on this day, particularly, with the other news that’s going on out there. You kinda want to hide this, it seems.
RUSH: Here is Rod Rosenstein, deputy AG, announcing the indictments. You’ve got to hear this folks. You have to hear this.
ROSENSTEIN: …advocating for and against particular candidates —
RUSH: This is absolutely…
ROSENSTEIN: — establish social media pages and groups to communicate with unwitting Americans.
RUSH: This is unreal.
ROSENSTEIN: They also purchased political advertisements on social media networks.
RUSH: Along with everybody else.
ROSENSTEIN: The Russians also recruited and paid real Americans to engage in political activities —
RUSH: So does Google!
ROSENSTEIN: — and to promote campaigns and stage political rallies.
RUSH: So does Facebook!
ROSENSTEIN: The defendants and coconspirators pretended to be grassroots activists. According to the indictment, the Americans did not know they were communicating with Russians.
RUSH: So did the Stop Rush Movement.
ROSENSTEIN: After the election, the defendants allegedly staged rallies to support the president-elect while simultaneously staging rallies to protest his election. For example, the defendants organized one rally to support the president-elect and another rally to oppose him, both in New York on the same day.
RUSH: Ho! (laughing)
ROSENSTEIN: On September 13th of 2017, soon after the news media reported that the Special Counsel Office was investigating evidence that Russian operatives had used social media to interfere with the 2016 election, one defendant allegedly wrote —
RUSH: Did Obama hire them, though? That’s the question.
ROSENSTEIN: — quote, “We had a crisis here at work. The FBI busted our activity. So I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with my colleagues,” end quote.
ROSENSTEIN: The indictment includes eight criminal counts. Count 1 alleges a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States by all of defendants. The defendants allegedly conspired to defraud America by impairing the lawful functions of the American Election Commission, the United States Department of Justice and the Department of State. Those organizations of the U.S. government are responsible for administering federal requirements for disclosure of foreign involvement in certain domestic activities. Count 2 charges conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud by Internet research agency and two of the individual defendants. And Counts 3 through 8, charge aggravated identity theft by Internet Research Agency and four individuals. Now there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity.
RUSH: Oh no!
ROSENSTEIN: There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered in the 2016.
RUSH: Again! Again they’re telling us!
ROSENSTEIN: Everyone charged with the crime is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court. At trial, prosecutors must introduce credible evidence that is sufficient to prove each defendant guilty beyond any reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury. The special counsel’s investigation is ongoing. There will be no comments from the special counsel at this time.
RUSH: Obviously, because there’s nothing here.
ROSENSTEIN: This indictment serves as a reminder —
RUSH: Of nothing!
ROSENSTEIN: — that people are not always appear to be on the Internet. The indictment allegations that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States —
RUSH: We knew this!
ROSENSTEIN: — and to undermine public confidence in democracy. We must not allow them to succeed. The Department of Justice will continue to work cooperatively with other law-enforcement intelligence agencies —
RUSH: I can’t believe this.
ROSENSTEIN: — and with the Congress to defend our nation against similar current and future efforts. I want to thank the federal agents and prosecutors.
RUSH: Okay, that’s it. That’s it Take it out. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announcing indictment of 16 Russians that didn’t do anything. First thing, it’s a Friday. It’s in the middle of a shooting story down in Florida, and Mueller did not announce any of these. Did you hear? He stressed that in all of this nefarious activity, there wasn’t one American involved. There wasn’t one American that benefited and there is no evidence that any American was involved or benefited. This has been in every leaked story on this subject, starting with the day Trump was elected.
Every deep state-sourced story, thousands of words alleging collusion, and in every story there was at least one line that admitted, “To date, no hard evidence of the allegations has been found, da da da,” and he said it here again. He repeated, in effect, in these indictments that no Americans are involved, no Americans helped. There is no evidence this helped any particular American or harmed any American. This business that these Russian snakes did rallies for Trump and against Trump on the same day in New York City? (laughing) Sorry, what are we supposed to take from that?
(laughing) That somebody in the group screwed up? (interruption) “Well, yeah, either that or they’re bipartisan.” (interruption) Hmm? (interruption) Well, he said… He said… This is kind of like what we’re getting out of Florida with the school coverage. The deputy AG warned Americans (paraphrased), “The Internet is not often what it looks like, folks. The Internet is not often what it appears to be. These people were operating bots and they were…” It’s exactly what happens every day on the Internet and has been going on on the Internet for the longest time and there are all kinds of people doing it.
But the three takeaways for me just on the first reaction here is: “No Americans participated, no American benefited.” So then what is this? It still boils down to they don’t have anything and they can’t walk away saying they don’t have anything. So they have to say they did and got somebody. And this is it. But why go to the trouble…? I mean, there’s any number of things… If these crimes that they’re alleging here were really committed, there’s any number of things you could point to. Why point out a rally in New York that was simultaneously for Trump and against Trump?
When he started that, I thought he was going to say for Trump and on the same day a rally against Mrs. Clinton. That would have been news. But no! The rally was both for Trump and against Trump. So what, they’re bipartisan? They’re trying to hide what they’re really all about or what they’re really trying to do here? And they set up a “virtual private network.” You can too, folks. (laughing) If you know where to go in the settings of your iPhone you can set up a VPN. If you know what one is. Anybody can set up a VPN. You can go on the App Store and buy an app that will link you to a VPN that you pay for.
A virtual private network is a way to cover and hide where you are. It’s a security-related thing, and it’s also designed to keep people from being able to track what you’re surfing on the Web, any number of benefits and high-profile people are often using them. But he pointed out that the Russians are doing something really, really super sneaky and super secret. A virtual private network. Go to the Wi-Fi settings of your iPhone and click on them and then scroll down and you’ll see where you can turn… Don’t do it! You have to do things first before you set up the VPN. Don’t do it. But I just want you to be able to see you can.
RUSH: Did you note that the Deputy Attorney General, Rosenstein, by the way, this is the guy that appointed Mueller, in case you’ve not seen his picture or heard his voice. This is the guy that appointed Mueller. This is the guy that oversees Mueller’s investigation. And Rosenstein said that the Russians that are indicted came here in 2014 to start getting set up.
Now, I have to remind everybody, 2014, nobody knew Trump was going to get in the race. In 2014 everybody thought it was going to be Jeb, Cruz, Kasich, but not Trump. It wasn’t until 2015 that Trump announced. Here’s the takeaway. “Rosenstein said the defendants created hundreds of accounts using fake personas on Facebook.”
Folks, this happens. Google does this aligning against Republicans every day. Google monkeys with their search results. Facebook is doing this. Google practically had an office in the Obama West Wing doing just this kind of stuff. Now the Russians are being indicted for it. They were also on Twitter and Instagram to advance their scheme.
But then there was this, like there has been in every single one of these stories. “Rosenstein said there is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in the scheme, nor is there any allegation that the scheme affected the outcome of the election.” So what is this? In every story for the year and a half we’ve been at this, every story contains that conclusion.
No evidence has yet been confirmed to support the allegation, but U.S. officials familiar with the story say it’s likely to be forthcoming, but it hasn’t ever been. No allegation the scheme affected the outcome of the election. Well, isn’t that what this is about? The indictment says that part of the Russian influence campaign dates back to 2013 and the goal was to “spread distrust toward the candidates and the political system in general.”
Okay. Then I have some help. Here’s how you can thwart the Russians. Now, I’m being dead serious here. Part of the Russian scheme dates to 2013. I was wrong, I thought it was 2014, 2013, and the goal was to spread distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.
Okay. My suggestion, folks, is anytime you see a headline of a story, “Russian Collusion,” don’t click on it. It’s clickbait. That’s how the Russians were trying to spread distrust toward the candidates and the political system. So anytime you see a mainstream media headline or a story with “Russian Collusion,” don’t click on it. It’s fake news. Just trying to help.
Okay. Time to get started on the phones with Kent in Sarasota, Florida. Glad you waited, all of you.
RUSH: By the way, folks, having a fake name or 30 fake names on Twitter or Facebook is not hacking. I mean, you can do it. It’s done. They’re talking about hacking and that’s not, Rosenstein, this indictment, that is not hacking. Anyway, we continue to have a lot to unpack and we have more phone calls coming up. There’s one other thing on this, and I want to read to you from the indictment itself.
The indictment claims that the Russians were using social media platforms to address a range of issues including immigration, Black Lives Matter movement, religion, north versus south. In other words, it was the Russians creating all this antagonism. It was the Russians pitting Americans against each other. I can tell you it’s a hell of a lot more than the Russians doing that. There are Americans doing that. This sounds — I mean, it’s early but it seems like nothing here.
RUSH: Now they probably won’t cover it that way, but I’m telling you in the editor’s offices over there they’ve got to just be crying their eyes out because these three elements just nuke the entire premise of this. The scheme did not affect the outcome of the election. No allegation in the indictment any American was a knowing participant. Trump campaign people unwittingly involved — the word involved is not used. I forget the exact sentence. No Americans indicted.
A couple of other bits of information I think that demonstrate how really curious this is and flimsy. The indictment says that part of the Russian influence campaign dates to 2013, it involved hundreds of people and millions of dollars. The goal was to spread distrust toward the candidates and the political system in general.
Now, look, I’m not disputing that. But the Russians aren’t the only people who do that. The Democrat Party does this. There are people with fake names, phony IDs, all over Twitter and Facebook who have created bots that are trying to create what appears to be reality and it’s nothing more than lies. There are people trying to make themselves look like they are 10,000 people instead of ten people and that they’re all angry at this or that company or this or that candidate. There are so many liberals playing this kind of game on the Internet on Twitter and Facebook, that to single out the Russians for doing it and making it look like they’re the only ones doing it? Back to 2013, spread distrust in general.
Then there’s this. “The Russians were openly using social media platforms to address ‘a range of issues, including: immigration; the Black Lives Matter movement; religion; north v. south.’ i.e. Russia sought to divide America amongst race, religion, and more.”
Well I could make the case that the Democrat Party fosters these divisions as well. I believe that feminism, militant feminism is in part created for the purposes of creating friction between men and women. And I don’t doubt that the Black Lives Matter movement itself is trying to divide America on race. Believe me, Black Lives Matter doesn’t need any help in sowing seeds of unrest. I don’t care if the Russians are helping them or not, they don’t need any help. North versus south.
And let’s not forget, you know, this story that on a day after the election, the week after the election, Russians organized one rally in New York to show your support for president-elect Donald Trump and another rally organized by the Russians that was called Trump Is Not My President. So the Russians did two competing rallies on the same day the week after the election.
Does anybody remember the name Robert Creamer? Robert Kramer was exposed by James O’Keefe in Project Veritas. Robert Creamer is the husband of Jan Schakowsky, a Congress person from Illinois. He lives in Chicago. And the Project Veritas secret cameras recorded Robert Creamer admitting that he hired rent-a-mobsters, that he hired protesters and paid them and outfitted them with caps and T-shirts to attend Donald Trump rallies and to start violence, to create violence, to harass and stalk Trump supporters to provoke them into retaliating physically.
We have learned that Robert Creamer visited the West Wing 58 times and had 16 personal meetings with Barack Obama. Robert Creamer, an American leftist radical, is hiring people to protest and shut down Trump rallies. He’s using money from the Hillary Clinton campaign to do it, by the way.
Now, you tell me: How do the Russians stack up to that? Why is Creamer not indicted for meddling and interfering? Is it because he’s an American he’s entitled and the Russians aren’t? And where in this indictment is the acknowledgment that Hillary Clinton bought and paid for an opposition research document that was then used to portray actual intelligence when it wasn’t?
“The Russians did this and they were creating fake identities. They were engaging in identity theft and so forth. The Russians were hacking here and they were using virtual private networks.” You wouldn’t believe the number of people who use VPNs, legitimate people. And creating fake identity, creating bots, trying to affect the outcome of the election.
You know what’s amazing, the number of Americans in social media trying to affect the outcome of the election is in the millions. You get my point here. Why are they doing it? They’re attempting to sabotage one candidate and elect another. And both sides. Trump supporters are trying to sabotage Hillary on social media, verse visa. And yet the Russians are portrayed here as the only ones doing it and it was so bad we have to indict them. The Russians weren’t doing anything that’s not being done by others, including Americans.
And I can’t stand this idea watching these cable news people act like this is the epitome of offensive outrage and behavior. Can you believe what the Russians were doing? Give me a break, can you believe what the Russians were doing. This is what has become of the internet in many ways. This is exactly how social media has used for a long time, long before the 2016 election came along.
You know what appears to me, Mr. Snerdley? It appears that they know at the Deputy AG level and at the special counsel that the CNNs of the world have created such expectation and demand that they’ve got to give them something. Even if it doesn’t have many calories, they have got to give them something.
And so that’s what this is. They’re feeding them just enough, because, again, no evidence whatsoever that any American was a knowing participant. Nor is there any allegation that the Russian scheme affected the outcome of the election. So what does all the rest of it even matter?
RUSH: I think everybody had to be shocked that there were Russians indicted. Nobody’s expecting it. The Russians were indicted for setting up fake social media accounts and buying Facebook ads to say bad things about Hillary Clinton. (laughing) Indictable? And then I’m told that CNN has been breathlessly asking whether or not Putin will turn over these Russians that have been indicted for prosecution. And, of course, that opens up something else. These people being indicted are never going to be tried because they’re never going to be here. And Putin is not going to extradite them.
What Mueller has just done — folks, what the special counsel has just done, I’m telling you all that matters here, no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant, no allegation that the scheme affected the outcome of the election. Bye-bye investigation. Mueller has just confirmed that there wasn’t any Trump/Russia collusion.
I know there are going to be other people getting lost in the weeds on this and they’re going to be parsing and dissecting every sentence, and they’re going to be looking for everything they can to find some hidden hint from Mueller that the big hammer is yet to come. Indicting Russians? There weren’t any Russians in the original Trump collusion story, don’t forget.
And, by the way, folks, I’m stunned that the Russians did this in the first place or alleged to, because remember Obama, I mean, he got serious about this. The world was genuinely fearful of Obama and Obama told Putin to cut it out. Remember (imitating Obama), “I told Vladimir Putin to cut it out.” And Putin apparently defied our great courageous president.
RUSH: Okay. So here’s another way of looking at this. After a year, and millions and millions and millions of dollars spent — and 25 pit-bull warriors working for Mueller — today’s message is a reminder that people are not always who they appear to be. We are being warned that the Internet could be people who are not who they appear to be. That’s what we bought? Can you imagine if we had this kind of investigation beforehand into this guy that everybody was worried about in Florida? CNN talking about, “Yeah, the indictment says that the Russians were trying to hurt Cruz and Rubio and Hillary and help Trump and Sanders!” So were millions of other people. Millions of other people were doing the same thing the Russians were doing.