Disinfo: The Mueller investigation confirmed there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump administration

Summary

The Mueller report confirms that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump administration.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election. The claim that the Mueller investigation did not find any evidence of collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government is false. Robert Mueller’s investigation sought to establish whether members of the Trump campaign – several of which entertained systematic contacts with individuals connected to the Russian government – conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its 2016 US election interference activities. The investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome – and that the Trump campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts. Specifically, the investigation concluded that 1) the Russian government interfered in the US election in sweeping and systematic fashion, and 2) there was insufficient evidence to make a prosecutorial decision to charge any member of the Trump campaign with taking part in a criminal conspiracy. However, as Mueller explained during his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, not making a charging decision does not mean the investigation failed to turn up evidence of conspiracy. During this testimony, Mueller confirmed that his investigation did indeed uncover some evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government, even though it was not seen as sufficient to bring conspiracy charges against any member of the Trump campaign. Ultimately, during the course of the investigation, more than 30 defendants were charged with committing federal crimes, including 12 officers of the Russian military. Seven defendants have been convicted or plead guilty. For a summary of the indictments, see here. Based on Justice Department policy and principles of fairness, the Special Counsel team decided it would not make a decision as to whether the president committed a crime. Read the full Mueller report here. For more disinfo cases about the Mueller investigation, see here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 159
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/07/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: US, Russia
  • Keywords: election meddling, Robert Mueller, Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections
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White Helmets created by Western intelligence, have links to terrorist organisations

The White Helmets are supported by the West, helped by Israel, and are also moving freely in areas controlled by terrorist organisations, fabricating and falsifying news images and feeding on foreign money, while some say that it is the fruit of Western intelligence work.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the association of the White Helmets with terrorism in Syria. The claim that the White Helmets are the creation of“Western intelligence work” is unsubstantiated and constitutes a groundless conspiracy theory. The White Helmets are a volunteer search and rescue organization made up of a group of Syrian civilians who mobilized to help war casualties in Syria, namely injured civilians trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings. The organisation - which is made up of 3,400 volunteers including teachers, engineers, tailors and firefighters - states that it has no affiliation to any political or military actor and is committed to render services to anyone in need. See here, here and here for background on Russian disinformation campaigns against the White Helmets.

EU institutions are merely tools to impose Franco-German hegemony over Europe

EU institutions are merely tools used by Paris and Berlin to impose Franco-German hegemony over Europe.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory and a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative asserting that the EU is controlled by Germany and France and that the Berlin-Paris axis dominates other EU members (see examples here, here and here). The EU is governed by the principle of representative democracy with citizens directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament and Member States represented in the European Council and the Council of the EU. The European Commission has a monopoly on the initiative in EU law-making and represents the Community interest.

France and Germany aim to use immigration as a weapon to weaken Italy economically and blackmail it politically

France and Germany aim to use immigration as a weapon to weaken Italy economically and blackmail it politically in order to punish Italy because Italian voters refuse to follow EU rules imposed by Paris and Berlin. France and Germany seek to transform Italy into a refugee camp.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory, no evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about mass immigration being used as a weapon by powerful Western elites to weaken and destabilize Italy and/or other European countries. Another common pro-Kremlin narrative is that the Franco-German axis allegedly controls the EU (examples here, here and here), and, in this particular case, seeks to undermine Italy’s national interests.

Many EU countries – including France and Germany – are becoming increasingly aware that mass irregular migration poses a serious challenge for Europe as a whole, not just for individual member states. Italy, where most migrants end up if they make it across the Mediterranean, is demanding that the rest of the EU share its burden.