That’s a question that Erick asks this morning, and I think at this point it has to be taken as more than idle speculation. Certainly the Clinton campaign believes that to be the case, and their assertion is bolstered by the fact that these Russian attacks against United States political operations have been ongoing for years.
James Trainor, assistant director for FBI’s cyber division, told CNN in a recent interview that the bureau has been working with political organizations and think tanks to put more resources into the security of their computer networks. He wouldn’t discuss the DNC or the role of Russia, but spoke generally about the increased number of such intrusions.
“There’s been aggressive targeting of that sector, the various campaigns, think tanks in the Washington, DC area,” Trainor said.
The “targeting of any candidate or any party (that) has political intelligence,” Trainor said. “There’s value in information there if you’re a nation state actor, so (it) shouldn’t be surprising.”
Private-sector cyber security investigators hired by the DNC concluded that hackers working for the Russian government were behind the year-long breach of the DNC. The investigation found intrusions by two Russian hacking groups.
Let’s say this: if a foreign government wanted to tilt the United States elections towards Trump at a critical moment, they could hardly have done better than the release of these emails on the eve of the Democrats’ convention. The #DNCleaks have thrown the entire convention into chaos, with the DNC forced to resign in disgrace – which then led to her being imprudently scooped up by the Clinton campaign itself, which is about the worst possible move in terms of optics. One assumes DWS has further dirt on Clinton that forced the move, but Clinton’s attempt to woo Bernie supporters back into the fold may have just hit a permanent roadblock. What should be a triumphant moment for Clinton is now an absolute mess.
And what foreign government would be more interested in a Trump presidency than Russia? Who else, among American politicians, would be willing to openly discuss abandoning Estonia to the Russians without alienating his supporters? Who else, among American politicians, has openly contemplated a high cabinet position for an American general who may or may not be on the Kremlin payroll? Who else has openly flattered Putin’s ego?
We are entering uncharted territory here politically, and the voters and party organizations are solely to blame. If the Democrats have half a brain, they will do what the RNC could not last week and save this country from President Trump by doing something about the awful nominee their voters have chosen. If not, either Gary Johnson faces a unique opportunity or our country faces a unique challenge.