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Accusations swirl around WikiLeaks and hacked emails

Clinton adviser has accused Trump aide of receiving ‘advance warning’ about WikiLeaks’ plans to publish thousands of hacked emails


 
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during their presidential town hall debate with at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 9, 2016. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Donald Trump during the town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 9, 2016. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A top adviser to Hillary Clinton on Tuesday accused a longtime Donald Trump aide of receiving “advance warning” about WikiLeaks’ plans to publish thousands of hacked emails and suggested the Republican candidate is aiding the unprecedented Russian interference in American politics.

Clinton adviser John Podesta pointed the finger at Trump adviser Roger Stone, who he said has been in touch with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Podesta also raised as evidence an August tweet in which Stone said Podesta’s “time in the barrel” was coming. The tweet was sent shortly after WikiLeaks published scores of hacked emails from other Democratic officials.

“I think it’s a reasonable assumption, or at least a reasonable conclusion, that Mr. Stone and the Trump campaign had advance warning about what Assange was going to do,” Podesta told reporters aboard the Clinton campaign plane. Podesta acknowledged the evidence was “circumstantial.”

Stone, in an email to The Associated Press late Tuesday, called Podesta’s assertion “categorically false” and “without foundation.”

Podesta confirmed that the FBI is investigating the hack of his private email account as part of the ongoing probe in other Democratic Party hackings by groups with Russian ties. Last week, intelligence officials said they believe the individuals responsible are working for Russian intelligence and co-ordinating with Assange on the political hacking.

Podesta said Russia’s actions may be driven by Trump’s policy positions, which he said are more in line with Russian foreign policy than U.S. foreign policy. But he also suggested the driving force could be “Mr. Trump’s deep engagement and ties with Russian interests in his business affairs.”

Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak dismissed the accusations as untrue.

“We are watching very carefully the election campaign in this country,” Kislyak said Tuesday at a discussion of bilateral affairs at Johns Hopkins University’s campus in Washington. “We don’t interfere (in) the internal affairs of the United States, neither by my statements nor by electronic or other means.”

Clinton has repeatedly accused her opponent as being soft on Russia, pointing to his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a strong leader, his suggestion that he would rethink sanctions against Russian officials, his sharp criticism of NATO and other policy positions.

While Podesta didn’t directly accuse Trump of assisting with Russia’s meddling with American campaigns, he suggested Trump was either “wilfully ignoring” intelligence officials’ warnings about Russian government involvement or “an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

The Clinton campaign would not confirm the authenticity of Podesta’s leaked emails, noting that Russian hackers often fabricate documents.

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question from the audience during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 9, 2016. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Donald Trump listens as Hillary Clinton answers a question during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

“The pattern is they hack, they leak truthful things, and then they build up to leaking documents that are either doctored or wholly fabricated,” said Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director.

Trump seized on the hacked emails at a rally Tuesday night in Florida, alleging the documents show that “Clinton is the vessel (of) a corrupt global establishment that’s raiding our country and surrounding the sovereignty of our nation.”

Also citing WikiLeaks, Trump said: “The Department of Justice fed information to the Clinton campaign about the email investigation so that the campaign could be prepared to cover up for her crimes. What is going on?”

In May 2015, Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon alerted staffers that the Justice Department was proposing to publish Clinton’s work-related emails by January in response to requests by news organizations. Fallon, a former Justice Department spokesman, wrote that unspecified “DOJ folks” told him there was a court hearing planned soon in the case.

The dates of court hearings would have been publicly posted in advance on the court’s docket. Fallon did not respond to a request for comment from AP. The Justice Department declined to discuss Fallon’s email.

Still, Trump said, “This is collusion and corruption of the highest order and is one more reason why l will ask my attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor,” following up on his debate threat to put Clinton in jail.

WikiLeaks dropped the first batch of Podesta’s emails shortly after news organizations released a video in which Trump is heard making sexually predatory comments about women. That video has deeply damaged Trump’s campaign, leading several Republicans to revoke their support for the businessman.

Podesta said Tuesday the timing of his emails’ release was an “awfully curious coincidence.”

“Mr. Assange wanted to change the subject,” Podesta said. “He didn’t succeed in doing that.”

 


 
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Accusations swirl around WikiLeaks and hacked emails

  1. The real reason I would support Hillary Clinton in the election is, partially because of being women, but the big thing about Hillary for me, is the team that surrounds her, they are more united than the GOP, and the quality of her team of intelligent and compassionate people. Would I completely trust Hillary, maybe not, but at least I know she will listen to the people that surrounds her, but Trump, he don’t listen to anybody, and he marches to the beat of his own drum, too erratic, maybe too authentic sometimes(like ‘Locker Room Banter’). You still have to balance authenticity with a stable temperament. Trump has more intelligent people, and some very good GOP members, running away from him, than helping him solve the problems that faces the US going into the 21st century. Though Hillary Clinton will be not a good friend to Canada, nor will Trump, but like I said, it’s the people that surrounds her, it’s her non authoritarian and non erratic behavior that makes me feel the US will be in good hands for the next 4 years, after that, it’s a mugs game, don’t see her getting a second term though..

    • This email thing, it’s only ‘FLUFF’ for the hard core GOP, just like everything else Trump likes to pump out on a daily basis to his base.

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