Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report implicated the Russian government in a widespread campaign of hacking and political disinformation during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Russian state media is nonetheless trumpeting the reaction of U.S. conservatives to the report, which found that the Trump campaign was not complicit in those election-meddling efforts, as evidence of a broad anti-Russian conspiracy in the U.S. And it’s using at least one prominent American conservative voice to do so.
The Russian government-owned Rossiya 1 news channel recently broadcasted excerpts from Fox News primetime host Sean Hannity’s on-air monologue, which hammered “media hysteria” over the report and allegations of campaign “collusion” with the Russian government.
In its own editorializing, Rossiya 1 described the report as “bestseller about the absence of collusion between Trump and Russia,” and blamed the political press and U.S. intelligence agencies for “hounding Trump” over the allegations, according to a translation by journalist and Daily Beast contributor Julia Davis.
Though the report found no criminal conspiracy by the Trump campaign or any American to assist in Russian election-meddling efforts, it did confirm reporting that the Trump campaign solicited opposition research on 2016 rival Hillary Clinton from Russian nationals whom it understood were acting at the behest of that country’s government.
Mueller’s report also extensively documents allegedly criminal efforts by Kremlin actors to hack email accounts associated with prominent Democrats and sow political discord through social media disinformation campaigns.
In a separate Rossiya 1 segment this week, the channel described Mueller’s investigation as “an attempt to threaten the current government and influence U.S. foreign policy without offering any specific evidence.”