Amid all the news of this week -- the high school shooting in Florida, the Rob Porter scandal at the White House, and the continuing drama over Donald Trump's mistresses -- there still was room for another shock. Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians for their alleged attempt to sway American voters, specifically from Hillary Clinton and toward Donald Trump.
The Russian government spent over approximately $1 million a month on their operation, according to the indictment, paying for social media ads, payroll for bots, and even actresses who were going to dress up as Clinton -- in a prison jumpsuit -- at pro-Trump rallies they promoted on Facebook.
Rachel Maddow dug deep into Mueller's latest indictments on her Friday show, saying she called off a planned three-day weekend with her partner, Susan Mikula, to cover the news.
Maddow wondered how Mueller knew some of the information obtained in the indictment, hinting that cooperating witnesses were feeding the special counsel's office details that neither the American public nor, likely, Donald Trump knows. Maddow also posited why Mueller indicted non-Americans, people who will likely never see a day in court; possibly because it lays the groundwork to show a conspiracy, a plot that Americans could soon be implicated in.
The most salient point of the Russian indictments, according to Maddow, is it shows that someone is finally doing something to protect us from Putin-led intervention in future elections. Finally, with President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions doing next to nothing to stop Russian election meddling -- partly because to do so may highlight what some see as their illegitimacy -- the special counsel is stepping in.
"The biggest surprise I had after covering this story so closely for this whole freaking year now... was that that hearing these charges and hearing what they were charging these Russians for, it was the first time that I felt, finally, finally, for the first time we realized this was happening, finally, finally, it feels like someone is defending us and going after them." Watch below and skip to the 19-minute mark.