02:57 GMT +315 December 2018
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    US Senator Compares Cost of Russia's Alleged Meddling and F-35

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Russia's alleged meddling in elections in the United States and France, as well as Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom, cost less than one US F-35 combat jet, Vice Chairman of the US Senate Select Intelligence Committee Mark Warner said.

    "So if you add up what they [Russia] spent in American, French and British elections combined, it was less then the cost of one new F-35 airplane," the senator said during his speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington late on Thursday.

    It is noteworthy, in 2016, the cost of the cheapest modification of the F-35 jet was estimated at around $94 million.

    READ MORE: Trump to Give Written Answers for Mueller's Russia Probe This Week — Reports

    Warner also said that Congress still had a lot of work to do in relation to the Russia probe.

    "I'm very proud of our bipartisan investigation and we still got more work to do, more witnesses to see," Warner added.

    The senator expressed hope that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe would yield new results soon and stressed that it was all the more important to protect the integrity of the investigation given the results of the recent midterm elections in the United States.

    "We need to make sure, particularly now post-midterms, particularly now when the president seems more and more unleashed, that we protect the integrity of the Mueller investigation and allow it to finish its work," Warner noted.

    READ MORE: Bill Protecting Mueller From Being Fired Gets Blocked in Senate

    The senator's comments come after Washington has repeatedly accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election in order to influence the results of the vote in favour of then-Republican candidate Donald Trump. The United States has claimed that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign in order to help its candidate win and tried to influence voters via social media. Washington has also accused Russian hackers of allegedly targeting email accounts of the US Democratic Party.

    The Mueller investigation, which was launched in 2017 to look into these claims, has already led to a series of indictments. In particular, in February, the US Justice Department announced that it had indicted 13 Russian nationals and three entities for their alleged attempt to meddle in the election. In July, a total of 12 Russian intelligence officers faced indictment for allegedly hacking into the Democrats' networks.

    Russia has repeatedly refuted the allegations, arguing that they had never been substantiated and insisting that Moscow does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. Trump and the White House, in their turn, have repeatedly denied allegations of collusion, with the US president calling the probe a "witch hunt".

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    election meddling, F-35 Lightning II, 2016 US Presidential election, Mueller, US, Russia
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