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Americans were not swayed to vote for Trump by any Russian interference, House majority leader says

  • Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election had nothing to do with anything Russia may or may not have done, Rep. Kevin McCarthy says.
  • The House majority leader was responding to questions on the indictment of onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Manafort's former longtime business partner Rick Gates.
  • The charges are part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference into the U.S. election.

Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election had nothing to do with anything Russia may or may not have done, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on CNBC Monday

"I think Russia meddles in everyone's election," the California Republican told "Squawk Box." "I don't believe Russia did anything to influence whether Trump got elected or not from the basis that the American people decided."

McCarthy was responding to questions on early reports that onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort — and Manafort's former longtime business partner, Rick Gates — were told to surrender to federal authorities as special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference into the U.S. election enters a new phase.

Shortly after McCarthy's interview, authorities unsealed the indictments and said Manafort and Gates had surrendered to face 12 conspiracy counts, including conspiracy to launder millions of dollars in payments from a pro-Russian party in Ukraine.

According to the complaint, Manafort and Gates, who served as political consultants and lobbyists for years, acted as unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine from "at least 2006 to 2015."

"One thing I do know," McCarthy said ahead of the DOJ release, "is President Trump won this election based on going out to the American public and talking about job creation, talking about doing exactly what we're doing this week when it comes to taxes."

Trump, who has repeatedly called the Mueller investigation a "witch hunt," responded to the Manafort-Gates news on Monday with tweets pointing a finger at Democrats.

A conservative website, the Federalist, reported that President Barack Obama's campaign directed nearly $1 million to the Perkins Coie law firm. The Washington Post reported last week that the firm was directed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign to hire Fusion GPS in 2016 to complete research that eventually yielded a hotly disputed dossier about Trump's links to Russia.

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