May accuses Russia of fake news and election meddling


14 Nov, 2017

May accuses Russia of fake news and election meddling

Theresa May has launched her strongest condemnation of Russia yet, accusing the Kremlin of election meddling and cyber espionage, comments that lie in stark contrast to recent remarks made by US President Donald Trump.

The Prime Minister was addressing a consortium of Europe’s leading business figures at a banquet in London, offering reassurances and clarity on the Brexit process.

However, she also used the meeting to condemn Russia’s actions on the global stage, accusing the state of spreading propaganda to “sow discord in the west”.

She suggested that a post-Brexit deal between the UK and the EU would continue to support open trade and free societies in the face of Russian threats to the international status quo.

In full, May said: “Russia has fomented conflict in the Donbass, repeatedly violated the national airspace of several European countries and mounted a sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption”.

She added: “It is seeking to weaponize information, deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories and photoshopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions”.

She ended by stating that Russia will not succeed as it “underestimates the resilience of our democracies… and the commitment of western alliances that binds us”.

Her comments lie in stark contrast to those made by President Trump after last week’s APEC Summit. Having met privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump told reporters that he had once again quizzed the Russian leader over allegations that his Government was directly involved in meddling with the 2016 US Presidential elections.

“He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did”, Trump told reporters traveling with him aboard Air Force One.

“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it”. I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country”.

However, Trump did not answer directly whether he outright believed Putin’s denials which lie in contrast to US intelligence agencies.

Although, during a news conference on Sunday in Hanoi, Trump affirmed his support for US intelligence services. “As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership”, he said. “I believe in our agencies. I’ve worked with them very strongly”.

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