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Mueller indictment reveals which candidates were targeted by Russians

Rubio, Trump and Cruz
Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The 37-page indictment filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller Friday reveals that the Russians who interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign targeted specific candidates.

The backdrop, per the U.S. intelligence community: The primary goal of the Russians' meddling was "to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States," which they did by focusing on polarizing cultural flashpoints like the Black Lives Matter movement, illegal immigration and terrorism.

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  • "By 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators used their fictitious online personas to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump."
  • "On or about November 3, 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators used the ORGANIZATION-controlled Instagram account Instagram account "Blacktivist" that read in part: 'Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein. Trust me, it's not a wasted vote.'"
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