U.S. national security adviser H.R. McMaster acknowledged Saturday that evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is “incontrovertible” but said Moscow’s campaign to divide the West through subterfuge was failing. “It’s just not working,” he said. The comments, a day after the Justice Department indicted 13 Russians on charges of interference in the election that catapulted Donald Trump to the White House, follow months of efforts by the president to cast doubt on assertions of Moscow’s interference .
In a late-night tweet Saturday, President Trump hit out at McMaster, saying he “forgot” to mention that the Russians had not impacted the results of the election and that there had been no collusion with his campaign. Both are frequent Trump talking points that have not been substantiated by intelligence agency conclusions or investigators.
McMaster’s comments came as he used a high-profile address at a global security conference to try to rally Western allies against common enemies, offering an olive branch to U.S. partners that have often felt battered and neglected in the age of Trump.
The United States, McMaster said, is committed to working with Europe to combat nuclear proliferation, choke off funds for terrorist groups and thwart Russian ambitions.