WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election (all times local):
The White House is stressing that the new indictment against 12 Russian military intelligence officers contains no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the Trump campaign or that the hacking the Russians are accused of conducting affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Spokeswoman Lindsay Walters adds in her statement that “this is consistent with what we have been saying all along.”
In Friday’s indictment, the Justice Department accuses the Russian officers of hacking into Democratic accounts during the 2016 election campaign and releasing the stolen information in the months before Americans headed to the polls.
The indictment comes as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the presidential election.
It also comes three days before Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Finland.
Rosenstein said the investigation is continuing.
___...1:45 p.m.The Kremlin is reaffirming its denial of meddling in the U.S. election.President Vladimir Putin’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov reaffirmed that “the Russian state has never interfered and has no intention of interfering in U.S. elections.”Ushakov spoke Friday, just hours before the U.S. Justice Department announced charges against 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking into Democratic accounts during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.He said the Kremlin believes there are “no objective reasons” for the current tensions, and that Moscow and Washington must join efforts to tackle global challenges such as international terrorism.Putin and President Donald Trump are meeting Monday in Helsinki.___1:40 p.m.National Intelligence Director Dan Coats says the warning lights about cyber threats to U.S. national security are “blinking red” and the threats are not just around election time.Coats spoke Friday after the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking into Democratic email accounts during the 2016 U.S. presidential election and releasing stolen information in the months before Americans headed to the polls.Coats said U.S. officials are detecting cyber threats targeting energy, water and other infrastructure, aviation networks and manufacturing facilities. He says the threats are coming from Russia, Iran, China and North Korea as well as criminal networks and independent hackers.He was speaking at the Hudson Institute think tank.___1:35 p.m.Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says the timing of indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officers for interfering in the U.S. election only reflects the natural course of the investigation.Rosenstein announced the charges Friday as President Donald Trump was meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle and just days before the president is scheduled to hold a summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.Rosenstein said: “The timing is a function of the