Report presents no clear proof of meddling in US polls: Russia

MOSCOW • Russia yesterday once more dismissed the Mueller report, saying it failed to present clear evidence of any meddling by Moscow in the 2016 US election and called its impact on relations regrettable.

"As a whole, the report as before does not present any reasonable proof at all that Russia allegedly meddled in the electoral process in the US," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists, saying it contained "no new information".

Russia has consistently rejected any suggestion that it interfered in the election won by Mr Donald Trump.

The politically explosive probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller ruled that Mr Trump's campaign did not criminally conspire with Russians to skew the election, and drew no conclusion on allegations of obstruction. "We regret that documents of such quality have a direct influence on the development of US-Russian bilateral relations which are not in the best shape as it is," Mr Peskov said.

He even suggested that US taxpayers should question why their money was spent on the lengthy probe with such a result.

"In our country, the Audit Chamber would probably take an interest in such a report: What did American taxpayers' money get spent on? But let the US taxpayers themselves ask that question," Mr Peskov added.

After Attorney-General William Barr released his four-page summary of the Mueller report late last month, Americans were dug in on their views. Nearly half of all Americans still believe Mr Trump worked with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted shortly after the summary's release.

Among those familiar with Mr Barr's summary, only 9 per cent said it had changed their thinking about Mr Trump's ties to Russia, the poll found.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2019, with the headline 'Report presents no clear proof of meddling in US polls: Russia'. Print Edition | Subscribe