On Sunday, Trump’s campaign took the line that Hillary messed with the DNC debate schedule. But the hacked emails depict no such thing.”>
By Lauren Carroll and Linda Qiu
Hillary Clinton on Sunday blamed the Russian government for the hacking and release of Democratic National Committee emails while depicting a connection between the hack and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Clinton said Russian President Vladimir Putin arranged for a lot of those emails to be released, in an interview on Fox News Sunday.
And we know that Donald Trump has shown a very troubling willingness to back up Putin, to subsistence Putin, whether it’s saying that NATO wouldn’t come to the rescue of allies if they were invaded, talking about removing sanctions from Russian officials after they were imposed by the United States and Europe together, because of Russias aggressiveness in Crimea and Ukraine, his kudo for Putin, which is I suppose quite remarkable, Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, said.
On NBCs Meet the Press, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would not say whether a foreign government was responsible for the leaked cache of party emails.
We at PolitiFact cant fact-check Clintons affirms on our Truth-O-Meter because we lack access to classified intelligence information. But here is what we do know about the hacker into emails at the DNC and who may be behind it.
The U.S. government has not yet publicly named the culprit behind the DNC hack. Cybersecurity experts who examined the hack received tactics and attributes associated with two Russian intelligence groups.
As of yet, theres no proof someone other than Russia breached the DNC. So unless someone hacked the Russian agencies, the Russian government is likely WikiLeaks source, said Susan Hennessey, a Brookings Institution fellow and a former lawyer for the National Security Agency. Also notable is that Assange and the Russian government have a well-documented relationship.
Whether Russia hacked the DNC intending to leak documents and affect the election remains an open question.
The consensus that Russia hacked the DNC is at this phase very strong, albeit not unanimous, said security consultant Matt Tait. The consensus that Russia hacked the DNC in support of Trump is, by contrast, plausible, but something for which the jury at this stage is very much still out.
Hennessey said that Russia most likely hacked the DNC to conduct standard espionage and then happened upon the emails, though its also possible they ran in searching for something to leak.
When evaluating the motivations behind the leak, Hennessey said its reasonable to consider that Trump has taken postures favorable to Russia and that Russia has a tense relationship with Clinton. They could have wanted to cause chaos in American politics , not inevitably to sway the election but possibly to confuse from something else, like diplomatic negotiations regarding Syria.
The weight of the evidence favors an explanation that the Russians leaked documentation to favor Trump, so it is more than a conspiracy theory but still speculative, Hennessey said.
Trump top consultant Paul Manafort said on Meet the Press that the DNC hack proved what some people believed about the Democratic primarythat the Clinton campaign and DNC were colluding to plan the 2016 primary debates at times that they would depict the smallest possible television audience.
Its become a talking phase in the Trump campaign, with Trump tweeting Friday that Clinton and the Democrats were trying to rig the debates so two were shown at the same time as NFL games.