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Clinton Campaign: Russia Leaked Emails to Help Trump (washingtonpost.com) 769

An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes the Washington Post: A top official with Hillary Clinton's campaign on Sunday accused the Russian government of orchestrating the release of damaging Democratic Party records in order to help the campaign of Republican Donald Trump -- and some cyber security experts in the U.S. and overseas agree. The extraordinary charge came as some national security officials have been growing increasingly concerned about possible efforts by Russia to meddle in the election, according to several individuals familiar with the situation.

Late last week, hours before the records were released by the website Wikileaks, the White House convened a high-level security meeting to discuss reports that Russia had hacked into systems at the Democratic National Committee... Officials from various intelligence and defense agencies, including the National Security Council, the Department of Defense, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, attended the White House meeting Thursday, on the eve of the email release.

Clinton's campaign manager told ABC News "some experts are now telling us that this was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump." Donald Trump's son later responded, "They'll say anything to be able to win this."
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Clinton Campaign: Russia Leaked Emails to Help Trump

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 24, 2016 @05:39PM (#52572113)

    Seems like Hillary could have avoided all this by associating with non-corrupt people. Including herself.

    • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @06:41PM (#52572401)
      I can't believe they're using "our emails were hacked by Russians" as their excuse.

      I mean, when you're in a hole, stop digging!
      • by prisoner-of-enigma ( 535770 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @06:49PM (#52572435) Homepage

        It's a vast left-wing conspiracy!

      • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @08:24PM (#52572745)

        I can't believe they're using "our emails were hacked by Russians" as their excuse.

        Next we'll be hearing that Trump is organizing all those shootings and bombings across Europe to boost his campaign. That's gotta be really expensive.

      • by Hartree ( 191324 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @09:12PM (#52572897)

        But, but...

        The dog really did eat my homework!

      • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @10:14PM (#52573057) Homepage

        It's not an excuse. It's an explanation. Those are different things.

        The problem with the emails is their source. WikiLeaks has shown great interest in anti-US material, and comparatively very little interest in anything that disparages Russia. Their bias has been analysed pretty thoroughly, and it calls their motives into question. That, in turn, means we must question the integrity of anything they release.

        For example, consider the differences in the edited and un-edited versions of the Collateral Murder video. The raw footage shows a pretty typical battle, where a group of men, some of them armed, are loitering in an area where American troops have been under attack all morning. The edited version shows a group of men, and highlights that two of them are not armed, and in a slow-motion frame comparison, shows that one of the apparent weapons was actually a telephoto camera lens, then shows them being attacked by American fire. There are numerous other differences.

        There's a huge difference in context between the two versions, which Assange himself has said was intentional for "political effect". In the raw video, the soldiers' actions are justified, though mistaken. In the edited version, they're portrayed as ruthless killers intentionally targeting civilians.

        Now WikiLeaks has released a bunch of emails. That's great, but we must ask: what editing has been done here? Did they (or their possibly-Russian source) strip out any emails that conflict with the "DNC is corrupt" narrative? Are the emails signed? Is it possible or probable that some of the damning emails edited or completely faked?

        These sorts of questions should be raised every time a leak is made public. The leakers always have an agenda, and it may not necessarily be to "inform the public".

        With all that in mind, consider again what's being said. There is no denial of the emails' existence, and little discussion of the emails' content. Instead, at this point there's just a request to consider the trail the emails have followed, and the impact that has on their credibility.

        • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @10:38PM (#52573133)

          WikiLeaks has shown great interest in anti-US material, and comparatively very little interest in anything that disparages Russia. Their bias has been analysed pretty thoroughly, and it calls their motives into question.

          No, not necessarily. You're assuming that it's equally easy to get damaging materials from both countries. That's an incorrect assumption.

          The explanation is simple: the US government does a horrible job with data security, and the Russian government is actually competent at it.

          Anyone who's worked in or with the US government and dealt with USG computer systems and IT people knows just how incompetent they are. It's no wonder they're constantly being hacked. And also remember, here in the US, if you're a competent computer security professional, there's plenty of great-paying work for you in the private sector, since the tech companies are doing so well in this country. Why would you waste your time going to work for the government for lousy pay and having to deal with ridiculous bureaucracy? You can't even purchase a $5 piece of equipment you need for your job without filling out a bunch of forms and then waiting 6 months (I'm not exaggerating). So the only people who take these jobs are the ones who are utterly incompetent.

          Over in Russia, things aren't the same; they don't have a booming tech sector like we do, so it's probably a pretty good move to go to work for the government there.

          If hackers can easily steal emails from US government systems, but Russian government systems are locked up tight, then it stands to reason that WikiLeaks would post lots of US stuff instead. You can't get blood from a stone.

          • by skids ( 119237 )

            so it's probably a pretty good move to go to work for the government there.

            Well, unless you are the poor guy ordered by Putin to find the master crypto key to the Internet or get sent to Siberia.

          • by lucm ( 889690 ) on Monday July 25, 2016 @12:51AM (#52573401)

            Over in Russia, things aren't the same; they don't have a booming tech sector like we do

            They have a booming tech sector: spam, botnets, credit card fraud, etc.

            And it's a real industry. Not happy with the stolen credit card numbers you bought? Call customer service and you get a discount on your next order.

            They make non-Russian organized crime look like drunk hooligans.

          • by iris-n ( 1276146 ) on Monday July 25, 2016 @02:23AM (#52573603)

            You're overthinking it. The explanation is much simpler: Wikileaks was created and is run by English-speaking people, for whom it is much easier to make contact with sources and hackers that speak English. And the sources are going to leak from organizations in the US, because that is where they work. And the hackers are going to hack networks in the US, because these are the networks they know.

        • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Monday July 25, 2016 @12:52AM (#52573407)
          The problem here is that anyone from Russia was able to read those emails at all.

          I'm sure the Trump campaign is sloppy with email security as well. But nothing he writes (e.g. love letters to neo-Nazis) would surprise anyone at this point. The fact that HRC is already known for exercising poor network security has already compromised her campaign, and reminding people that "Russians love Trump and that's why they released my messages that they were able to access" is not a smart defense. (Neither is immediately hiring DWS upon her firing from the DNC and announcing that she "will continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally". The tone deafness here is astounding.)

          Yes, the DNC email server contained no classified information. But don't keep reminding people that anyone in the world can read your email.
        • by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Monday July 25, 2016 @08:35AM (#52574641)

          "....what editing has been done here? "

          A question that can be answered simply by the DNC publishing their own copies of said emails.

          Interesting that they haven't, eh?

      • by ravenshrike ( 808508 ) on Monday July 25, 2016 @08:16AM (#52574543)

        Hmmm, apparently the Russians found the DNC emails important enough to obtain but completely ignored Clinton's email server. Odd cyberwarfare priority that.

  • well well well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 24, 2016 @05:39PM (#52572115)

    to me, unless you can show the integrity of the original messages was compromised, then the "who did it" does not matter as much as "what the emails say".

    now, if the messages were altered to promote an agenda, I agree with the Hillary Camp.

    if this is what the emails did say, then I feel we have a problem with the undermining of the vote of the people.

    • Re:well well well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @06:13PM (#52572279)

      Hillary has already thrown Wasserman-Shultz under the bus, so it looks like the emails are real. Nobody is claiming they aren't.

    • by taustin ( 171655 )

      Indeed. If the truth hurts you, the problem isn't with who reveals it, the problem is with you. And Hillary Clinton will do anything she possibly can to obfuscate that fact.

      Of course, Trump will do anything he can to emphasize it.

      In neither case does it matter if the emails are real or not.

      • Re:well well well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by prisoner-of-enigma ( 535770 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @06:56PM (#52572461) Homepage

        In neither case does it matter if the emails are real or not.

        Well, actually it does matter. If the emails are real -- and everything thus far indicates they are, including press releases from HRC's campaign and the resignation of the DNC chairwoman -- it shows systematic corruption within the DNC. Not that comes as any surprise. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was an unabashed Clinton supporter, carrying water for her at every opportunity. Only a fool could believe she was capable of running the DNC on an impartial basis.

        Unfortunately there are a lot of fools out there.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by whoever57 ( 658626 )

        Indeed. If the truth hurts you, the problem isn't with who reveals it, the problem is with you. And Hillary Clinton will do anything she possibly can to obfuscate that fact.

        The problem is the asymmetry here. What do you think a cache of RNC emails would show?

        • Re:well well well (Score:5, Interesting)

          by swb ( 14022 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @08:31PM (#52572767)

          That they were terrified of the loudmouth Donald Trump and grew increasingly terrified as he completely sabotaged their own attempt at coronating their own hand-picked stooge to run against Hillary in 2016.

          The only difference between them and the Democrats? The RNC failed to derail Trump and the DNC and Hillary Clinton vociferously denied colluding to railroad Bernie Sanders.

          The difference is also in expectations. Everyone *expects* the RNC and its major donors to guide a hand-picked favorite son into November. It's who they are. They don't operate under ideological banner that promotes free, open and fair elections -- they want to gut the Voting Rights Act, for example.

          The Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, promote themselves as the guarantors of democracy, extending and protecting the franchise and voice of all people. Which is now being exposed for what it was all along -- a sanctimonious fiction and a bill of goods. Instead they spent their time promoting their own handpicked favorite and undermined a worthy and successful challenger.

          I try not to buy into the Hillary is corrupt meme. But at this point, there's just too much evidence she's conniving and fundamentally not honest. And I'm not a Trump supporter, but I do have a certain admiration for the way he eviscerated the Republican party.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      What the email actually say are normal intra party politics, back stabbing and intrigue. They have not found corruption, extortion or even racist jokes being forwarded. In fact for an email dump it is pretty innocuous. Some embarrassment for some. Debbie seems to be the one they are throwing under the bus. ( She actually looks like Mrs Frizzle from The Magic School bus).

      But I am also intrigued by the Russians deciding to help Trump. Foreign powers meddling with our elections, swaying our public opinion we

      • Re:well well well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by techsoldaten ( 309296 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @09:31PM (#52572943) Journal

        Actually, the DNC has a contractual and fiduciary responsibility to stay neutral in a primary, because they sign contracts to that affect.

        Section 4 of the Democratic Party charter reads this way:

        "In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process."

        The chairperson was Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who resigned / was fired earlier today. The CEO of the DNC is Amy Dacey. But look at their emails and tell me if that lives up the charter.

        https://www.facebook.com/DNCfr... [facebook.com]

        Some of us are suing.

      • Re:well well well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Orgasmatron ( 8103 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @11:42PM (#52573271)

        You must be using the newfangled definition of corruption, popular with people that aren't familiar with the word graft, that only includes actual cash bribes for services or lenience.

        Sorry to say that graft is only one type of corruption. Corruption is a broad thing. So broad that it is hard to pin down a concrete definition that includes everything and excludes nothing.that people consider to be corruption. The basic idea is that if a person is in an office or position of authority, and that authority is intended to be used for the benefit of some person or group, corruption is any time that person secretly uses their authority for their own benefit, or for the benefit of anyone other than the intended beneficiary, particularly when the intended is harmed or neglected in some way.

        Seen in that light, it is hard to pretend that the DNC isn't riddled with corruption from top to bottom. They had a duty to the nation's democrats to run the primary process in a manner specified by the rules, which included neutrality, transparency, etc. What happened instead?

        And it isn't enough that the DNC is corrupt, it is also corrupting. You read the exchanges with the press? Surprise, CNN and MSNBC see themselves are the propaganda wing of the democrat party. Is that what they told the FCC and the American people they were going to be doing?

      • What the email actually say are normal intra party politics, back stabbing and intrigue. They have not found corruption, extortion or even racist jokes being forwarded. In fact for an email dump it is pretty innocuous.

        Doesn't matter. People have already made up their own fantasy world around this, and no one is ever going to get them to change their minds. Facts are meaningless when you make your decisions based on emotion. Hate and fear being the easiest ways to control those emotions, and people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 24, 2016 @05:42PM (#52572125)
    Trump actually lobbied to change the Republican platform to favor Russia over the Ukraine -- one of seven strange Russia connections clearly documented by Josh Marshall [talkingpointsmemo.com].

    "Post-bankruptcy Trump has been highly reliant on money from Russia, most of which has over the years become increasingly concentrated among oligarchs and sub-garchs close to Vladimir Putin," for example. And then there was the "secret financing" for a Soho real estate project from Russia and Kazakhstan. Even Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, "spent most of the last decade as top campaign and communications advisor for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian Ukrainian Prime Minister and then President whose ouster in 2014 led to the on-going crisis and proxy war in Ukraine."

    I haven't been following Trump's campaign closely, but his ties to Russia are really clear.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 24, 2016 @05:43PM (#52572135)

    Why does Hillary always claim some sort of big conspiracy every time she gets caught doing something? Perhaps, she should just concentrate on keeping her nose clean to begin with.

    • by fred911 ( 83970 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @06:05PM (#52572243)

      "Why does Hillary always claim some sort of big conspiracy every time she gets caught doing something? "

        Because most of the time she's dirty.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @06:20PM (#52572307)

        Because the press always lets her. Because anyone else would be gone after one or 2 times, but the Clintons keep getting a pass for scandal after scandal after scandal, always ensuring there will be yet another scandal in the seemingly endless list. Because the Democrats across the country lost so many elections in the past few years that there's no one else in the party with national stature who can mount a successful campaign. Because calling the other side "racist" is seen as an acceptable substitute for acting ethically or having any sort of thoughts on policy.

    • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @06:40PM (#52572399) Homepage

      A person can be both guilty of something wrong, and at the same time have a third party digging up / promoting evidence of it for their own, unrelated purposes.

    • Look, whatever else you think good or bad about Hilary the fact is a lot of very, very wealthy people have it in for her. Fox news alone is enough to account for a conspiracy by the strict definition. What's that old quote from Gore Vidal? I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I'm a conspiracy documenter. Or put another way: a conspiracy is just two or more people doing something shady. If you can't find two folks from the anti Hilary side doing something shady then you sure aren't even trying...
  • by Orgasmatron ( 8103 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @05:47PM (#52572145)

    What is always step one when dealing with a whistleblower? Try to distract the press by yammering nonstop about the whistleblower, and deflect every question about the leaked documents back to the leaker's motivations, integrity, etc.

    Of course, given the content of the emails, I suspect that DWS has already given the marching orders to CNN and MSNBC so that the party doesn't have to dirty their hands by acting all shifty and evasive on TV.

  • Horse Hockey (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @05:48PM (#52572153)
    If the Russians wanted to help Trump they would release some "they weren't classified when on my server" emails that they got from her bathroom server.

    You don't think the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, et all didn't hack that server? You're naive.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ScentCone ( 795499 )

      If the Russians wanted to help Trump they would release some "they weren't classified when on my server" emails that they got from her bathroom server.

      Whether or not they have them, there's no need. The FBI has already said that Clinton was lying about that, and they have the evidence to prove it. They just don't have Clinton's leverage with the Obama administration, so no prosecution for that act and the lie told to cover it up - even though anyone else would be in deep legal trouble for doing exactly the same.

  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @05:56PM (#52572187) Journal

    That crazy Trump running around blaming the Russians for everything! That guy is completely unhinged and we need a sane establishment-connected candidate like Her Highness Hill --- [whispering] --- Uh.. wait that was Hillary who said that?

    Well uh, she's obviously right. There's a vast right wing conspiracy led by the Russkies that's infiltrated all levels of the U.S. Government to stop the most qualified woman on EARTH from being coronated queen of 'Murica! I have in my hand here a list of 47 Russkie agents that are hellbent on subverting Hillary's ascendency to the throne and I propose a witchhunt to ruin their lives!! (in the name of diversity and BLMLGBTQQRSUNVAKEHG rights of course)

    • by vandelais ( 164490 ) on Monday July 25, 2016 @12:06AM (#52573313)

      You know when fluoridation first began?
      Nineteen hundred and forty-six. 1946, CajunArson. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works.
        first became aware of it during the physical act of love. Yes, a profound sense of fatigue... a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily, I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.

      And there's no fighting in here.

  • by Alain Williams ( 2972 ) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday July 24, 2016 @05:57PM (#52572199) Homepage

    Speaking as a Brit: we have just been through a month of unscrupulous back stabbing carried out by our MPs (Members of Parliament). The Prime Minister resigned and so the Tories had to elect a new one; several put their names forwards and then huge amounts of muck was dug up, some of it completely proposterous or ridiculously overblown; the press played their part in keeping silly stories on the front pages.

    We have the same thing going on in Labour: leadership election with mole hills being blown up to be the size of Everest; again the press with the Westminster mafia out to knife Jeremy Corbyn. He is loved by Labour voters country wide but hated by those in the Westminster bubble.

    This story strikes me as made from the same elements: something small made out to be oh - so important. The trouble is that many voters are not able (or sufficiently interested) to see beyond the head lines.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      The accusations against Clinton have been proven by the FBI with the only excuse being "she's too big to jail" and an obvious golden handshake by Bill Clinton with the AG that should've prosecuted who subsequently dropped the case.

      I'm sure the Russians helped, they have their own agenda just like they would've attempted to help their cause with any other election in the world (the US does the exact same thing through the CIA as does any other world power including the UK, Germany etc).

      We all know in every c

    • and then huge amounts of muck was dug up

      And then the person who controlled GCHQ was elected. What a surprise.

  • Pot meet Kettle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @06:12PM (#52572273)

    Donald Trump's son later responded, "They'll say anything to be able to win this."

    Ya, *they*.

  • by bongey ( 974911 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @06:16PM (#52572285)
    The slashdot editors post a Russian conspiracy plot , meanwhile there is strong evidence twitter is suppressing the entire dnc leaks topic. Are we going to start posting 9/11 was an inside job stories?
  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @06:37PM (#52572369)

    What difference at this point does it make who hacked DNC's dammed emails?

  • by HBI ( 604924 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @06:39PM (#52572393) Journal

    Putin allowed these to be released to poke Obama in the eye. No more, no less. The fact that they feed into a long standing story of dishonesty and fraud on the part of the Clintons is incidental. He saw maximum value to let them go right before the DNC, because he knows, like I do, that these e-mails aren't going to decide the election. It wasn't worth holding them until November, as they'd be ineffectual then with all the mud flying in the last couple of weeks.

    They are, however, one of hundreds of data points that will decide this election.

    He doesn't "support Trump" at all. He'd prefer a HRC in charge - less risk, but he doesn't believe he could turn a US election anyway with any of his tools available. Those who believe otherwise are conspiracy theorists.

    • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @07:58PM (#52572675)

      Putin allowed these to be released to poke Obama in the eye. No more, no less. The fact that they feed into a long standing story of dishonesty and fraud on the part of the Clintons is incidental. He saw maximum value to let them go right before the DNC, because he knows, like I do, that these e-mails aren't going to decide the election.

      It keeps "emails" in the news and anytime emails are "leaked" people instantly assume that it exposes a bunch of lies and scandals. The stuff about Sanders also pokes the "Bernie or Bust" movement, Trump's big risk is they all decide that they need to vote Democrat. If he can antagonize them enough they might simply decide to sit out the election.

      It wasn't worth holding them until November, as they'd be ineffectual then with all the mud flying in the last couple of weeks.

      They are, however, one of hundreds of data points that will decide this election.

      He doesn't "support Trump" at all. He'd prefer a HRC in charge - less risk, but he doesn't believe he could turn a US election anyway with any of his tools available. Those who believe otherwise are conspiracy theorists.

      If Putin was low risk he wouldn't have invaded Ukraine or stated screwed with NATO member Latvia.

      Putin's dream is to break up NATO and eat up a bunch of former USSR members, his fear is that he loses power in some kind of Democratic revolution. Trump is already suggesting he may not defend NATO members, Putin will be very tempted to take advantage of this.

      Trump has also openly admired the authoritarian tendencies of Putin and other dictators. If Trump gets in it's very unlikely that Putin's next crackdown will be hit with a bunch of international condemnation led by the US. Trump might even kill the sanctions for attacking Ukraine as part of some deal.

  • yawn. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @07:03PM (#52572507)

    Who'd'a thought the DNC would favor a centrist party insider over a left-leaning outsider? (The Bernie camp has been complaining about this since day one.)

    Who'd'a thought the internet is full of hax0rs that break into any and every system they can and proclaim that they've done something earthshaking?

    Who'd'a thought Assuange would try to spin it as something to do with the Hillary server scandal?

    Who'd'a thought a campaign manager would have made an outrageous claim?

    Who'd'a thought the opposing campaign manager would make a vacuous counter-claim?

    Who'd'a thought Slashdot would run with such a nothing-burger story when there are actually interesting things going on in the world?

    I take my subject back - a yawn overrates the whole thing.

  • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @07:54PM (#52572663) Journal
    It's called shooting the messenger. Even if Russia did hack the DNC servers, what they chose to release still demonstrates inappropriate behavior by the DNC chair. Even if Trump's candidacy benefits Russia, it doesn't change the fact that DNC chair undermining democratic elections (with a small "d") doesn't help The United States.
  • Contaminated content (Score:3, Interesting)

    by seven of five ( 578993 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @08:42PM (#52572825)
    If the source of the emails is a Russian hacker, who's to say that any of the content is genuine? What if some of it were doctored? Source can't be trusted.
  • by Dasher42 ( 514179 ) on Monday July 25, 2016 @12:24AM (#52573349)

    If it was the Russians' fault, then why did your DNC Chair have to step down?!

  • by Alypius ( 3606369 ) on Monday July 25, 2016 @01:39AM (#52573479)
    ...Hillary's staff has insisted for months that Russia never hacked her accounts. Yet for some reason the same staff is blaming the Russians for leaking these details. Must be more of that Smart Diplomacy we've been hearing about, what with that Russian Reset and all.

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