Vladimir Putin says Mueller's Russia report is a ‘mouse’ not a ‘mountain’
President Vladimir Putin has finally weighed in on the finished U.S. Justice Department investigation into Russian election meddling and collusion in America’s 2016 presidential race, telling reporters on Tuesday, “The mountain gave birth to a mouse,” referring to one of Aesop's Fables.
“We said from the start that Mr. Mueller’s notorious commission wouldn’t find anything. [...] So the fact that it’s concluded like this is like ‘the mountain giving birth to a mouse,’ as it were. It was clear to us well in advance,” the president said, repeating again that the Russian government didn’t interfere in the U.S. presidential election and never colluded with Donald Trump’s campaign. Putin also called the Mueller investigation “total nonsense,” describing it as a domestic political attack on the Trump administration.
President Putin ignored the Mueller report’s findings that the Russian state did in fact try to meddle in American electoral politics and facilitate Donald Trump’s victory through cyberattacks on the Democratic Party and Internet propaganda designed to sow political discord. Russian officials have categorically denied these allegations.
Throughout his two-year special investigation, Robert Mueller indicted 25 Russian nationals: a dozen suspected military intelligence officers who allegedly hacked and leaked documents from the U.S. Democratic Party, and 13 “troll factory” staff who supposedly committed conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.