Trump invites Russia to meddle in the U.S. presidential race with Clinton’s emails
Republican nominee Donald Trump pleaded directly Wednesday with the Russian government to meddle in the U.S. presidential election by finding and releasing tens of thousands of private emails from his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton — an extraordinary and perhaps unprecedented maneuver in American politics.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said during a news conference at one of his South Florida resorts. He added later, “They probably have them. I’d like to have them released.”
Asked whether Russian espionage into the former secretary of state’s correspondence would concern him, Trump said, “No, it gives me no pause. If they have them, they have them.”
The emails cited by Trump are from Clinton’s time at the State Department, where her use of a private server prompted a federal investigation. The FBI concluded that no prosecution was necessary.
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Here’s What We Know About Russia and the DNC Hack
As the Democratic National Convention continues its week-long stay in Philadelphia, accusations of Russian hacking continue to cloud the proceedings. At this point, it seems likely that Russia is responsible. What’s less clear is what that will mean going forward.
It’s been a bad stretch for the Democratic National Committee. Hackers broke into its servers months ago, stealing private emails, opposition research, and campaign correspondence. Last Friday, Wikileaks made nearly 20,000 of those private emails public, revealing embarrassing details of the political machine’s inner workings. DNC official allege that the Russian government is behind the breach. The New York Times reports that US intelligence agencies increasingly share that opinion. According to a number of top cybersecurity researchers, they’re probably right.
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Did Russian government hackers leak the DNC emails?
By now, it’s pretty clear that Russian hackers are responsible for breaches of the Democratic National Committee networks that occurred last summer and in April of this year — several forensic security firms have found evidence that traces the breach back to Russia. Now that DNC emails harvested during the breaches are starting to appear on Wikileaks, pundits are speculating that Russia leaked the emails in a bid to land Donald Trump in the Oval Office. But is the email leak also attributable to hackers on Russia’s government payroll?
A new analysis released by security consulting firm ThreatConnect has marshaled more evidence to prove that hackers linked to the Russian government communicated with journalists about the leaked documents.
A hacker set up a website and Twitter account to take credit for the DNC breach soon after it was initially reported, calling himself Guccifer 2.0 (a moniker modeled after a Romanian hacker who is recently pleaded guilty to hacking American political operatives). That claim shed doubt on initial reports from The Washington Post and others that laid the responsibility for the breach squarely at the feet of organizations with ties to the Russian government and its president, Vladimir Putin. But ThreatConnect’s research suggests that Guccifer 2.0 is simply an invention of the Russian government to deflect attention from its involvement in the breach.
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