19:08 GMT08 August 2020
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    A summary of FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller's long-awaited report on alleged collusion between Russia and Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign has turned up empty, concluding that there was no evidence that Trump or his campaign ever conspired with Russia.

    CNN, which had invested serious capital into the Trump-Russia collusion narrative over the past two years, accused Russia of celebrating the release of the Mueller report, claiming that while the Kremlin "has yet to respond to the conclusions from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation…the gloating has already begun in Moscow."

    As evidence, CNN pointed to a tweet by Russian political talk show host Evgeny Popov, who tweeted Sunday that "in short, Russia did not elect Trump," and asked whether the investigation coming up empty would mean that the US would now be lifting its sanctions over Russian "election meddling."

    For further proof, the network quoted Alexei Pushkov, an outspoken Russian senator known for his sharp commentaries on foreign affairs. In a rare English-language tweet, Pushkov wrote that the Trump-Russia investigation was "biased, artificial, provocative, conspiratorial," and designed to a) fuel hate toward Trump and b) "demonize Russia."

    "The conclusions of the Mueller investigation are a disgrace for the United States and its political elite. It has been confirmed that all the charges were made up out of thin air. The media played a shameful role of being instigators of a campaign based on lies. Adherents of conspiracy theories have been discredited. From now on, only an idiot will believe them," Pushkov wrote in a separate tweet in Russian.

    CNN made an attempt to emphasise that the Mueller probe "did not let Russia off the hook," citing "two main Russian efforts," including alleged Kremlin-linked troll farms (whose impact, even if they did exist, remains questionable), and the long-running claim that Russian agents were responsible for hacking Democratic National Committee servers to try to discredit Hillary Clinton, a claim which WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange have repeatedly denied.

    Thankfully, in CNN's view anyway, "relations between the United States and Russia are likely to remain abysmal." Citing a long-list of problems in Russia-US relations, the network noted with satisfaction that "a bipartisan consensus in Washington that sees Russia as a bad actor still remains, it seems."

    Social media didn't let the network off the hook so easily online, however, with Twitter users posting a series of meme-laden messages urging the network to "get some help" over its Russia obsession and accusing the network of singlehandedly boosting Trump's chances for reelection in 2020.


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