Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager thinks last week’s hack and subsequent document dump of Democratic National Committee e-mails is coming from a controversial source. Robby Mook told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he believes Russian hackers perpetrated the leak to help Donald Trump win the election in November.
WikiLeaks released some 19,252 e-mails and 8,034 attachments that were stolen from the D.N.C. Revealed in the cache: that some D.N.C. operatives mocked supporters of Clinton’s primary challenger, Senator Bernie Sanders, that a Politico reporter sent a pre-publication draft of his article to the D.N.C. for review, and that Debbie Wasserman Schultz once asked for an inordinate number of tickets to the hit Broadway show Hamilton.
Mook’s claim that the hack was carried out by Russian operatives isn’t plucked out of thin air. The D.N.C. has had its files attacked by Russian hackers before. CNN reports that two “Russian intelligence-linked cyberattack groups” were in the D.N.C.’s networks. A Russian hacker who goes by the moniker “Guccifer 2.0” has claimed responsibility for the hack. Mook says this comes after the new Republican platform was announced, changes to which made it “more pro-Russian.”
Mook’s public stance, however, is an interesting move from the Clinton campaign. Painting the D.N.C. hack as a project of Vladimir Putin shifts the narrative away from the controversies contained within the hack itself. Instead of headlines about the suggestion that the D.N.C. was behind Clinton from the get-go, the story becomes about Republicans forming ties with an increasingly aggressive Russia.
Mook said he did not think the hack would drive the Democratic party apart, saying that he is “confident” that the D.N.C. would “take appropriate steps.”
Josh Marshall, the editor of Talking Points Memo, highlighted another troubling connection between Trump and the Kremlin. In a post on his editor’s blog, Marshall delineates the evidence that suggests Trump “appears to have a deep financial dependence on Russian money from persons close to Putin.” Trump’s campaign chair, Paul Manafort, also has ties to pro-Russian leaders. He lobbied for them. It’s quite damning, and worth a read.
Meanwhile, Sanders is calling for Schultz to resign. The D.N.C. chair won’t be speaking at the convention following the Wikileaks fallout.
Sanders, when asked about his response to the e-mails, said she should step down, and said he had demanded Schultz’s resignation before because of her apparent Clinton favoritism. “It goes without saying,” he said, “the function of the DNC is to represent all of the candidates—to be fair and even-minded.