NYT: Donald Trump Encourages Russia to Find Hillary Clinton’s Missing Emails

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said, staring directly into the cameras. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Mr. Trump’s call was an extraordinary moment at a time when Russia is being accused of meddling in the U.S. presidential election. His comments came amid questions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, which researchers have concluded was likely the work of two Russian intelligence agencies.

Ashley Parker, New York Times: Donald Trump Encourages Russia to Find Hillary Clinton’s Missing Emails

Image by Kyle Rush NYT: Donald Trump Encourages Russia to Find Hillary Clinton’s Missing Emails

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187 thoughts on “NYT: Donald Trump Encourages Russia to Find Hillary Clinton’s Missing Emails

  1. LGM has an interesting post on this. Scott L’s observation is that everything Trump has done so far as been against the norms of Presidential elections in both primaries and the general. The LGM post:

    As Rob observes below, in his not notably sane press conference today Donald Trump (inter alia) called for Russia to try to steal the former Secretary of State’s emails. In addition, the Trump campaign announced that it won’t be releasing Trump’s tax returns. Ordinarily, this would be small potatoes, but when a businessman has such an extensive history of not paying creditors that he literally can’t get loans from ordinary American banks despite owning a lot of real estate, it’s pretty safe to say that there’s some significantly damaging information in them. Which, of course, is why he’s not going to abide by the norm that presidential candidates release their tax returns.

    Basically, what Trump — starting with his attacks on John McCain for getting captured in Vietnam — has been doing is the campaign equivalent of what Mitch McConnell has done in the Senate. That is, ignoring norms about how he’s supposed to behave. He’s basically made an ongoing series of what conventional wisdom would maintain are campaign ending gaffes — and yet, he has the Republican nomination for president and according to the polls has an outside but real chance of being elected to the office.

    Mitch McConnell is unquestionably correct that the public doesn’t care about congressional procedure and won’t punish individual members of Congress for legislative dysfunction. With respect to Donald Trump’s approach to campaigning, the lesson is less clear right now. Maybe what worked for him in the Republican primaries will fail in the general, and he will lose by an unusually large margin. But if he loses within the Romney/McCain range — or God forbid, wins — we have to consider the possibility that norms of what makes an effective campaign aren’t actually true (although it’s also possible that what works for Trump won’t work for others.)

    So this is pretty disturbing.

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  2. If Russia does this, the debate then gets to be over whether Russia did something wrong or whether Hillary did something wrong or whether Trump did something wrong and turn this into even more of a crapshow.

    If, however Russia does not, then we merely have the lower-level crapshow.

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    • Do we doubt that Russia is trying, has tried, to hack into the actually-classified, actually-secured communications of U.S. diplomats? Do we doubt that Russia has already tried to do exactly what Trump encouraged them to do this morning and break into the much-less-secure email that Secretary Clinton improperly used? No, of course they already have tried, and maybe succeeded, and that’s not the point.

      Nor is it particularly relevant what’s in those emails, whether they are lists of the cover names of our spies or Secretary Clinton’s yoga tips.

      The point is that a man who aspires to be President of the United States openly encouraged an adversarial foreign power to search for American diplomatic secrets using methods that violate American laws. For no reason other than his own personal political advantage in an imminent election.

      He is Richard Nixon, and this is him giving the green light to the Watergate burglary.

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      • Sorry. I’ll try to be more upset. Oh, heavens. Can you believe that a nominee for president actually did this horrible thing? This is awful. We need to do something. Vote for Hillary Clinton. This is the most important election of our lifetimes.

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              • While I agree that Trump is a buffoon who should not get anywhere near the Oval Office, I thought that last year and I haven’t changed my mind on it.

                As a matter of fact, does *ANYONE* on this board support Trump? Anyone at all? Maybe notme. MAYBE.

                Who is disagreeing with anybody on Trump, here? Taking yet another opportunity to say how much we are against Trump and how bad he is sure can be said in good-faith and it can be well-reasoned… but who here disagrees on Trump?

                WE DON’T HAVE ANY PRO-TRUMP PEOPLE ON THIS BOARD.

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                • Well, it’d be interesting to hear someone come up with an intellectually rigorous defense of a Trump policy or of Trump himself. Most of what I see out on teh Twitter — Trump’s favored medium of discourse — boils down to #HillaryIsWorse.

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                    • Well, yes, that’s what this election is about: not which of two plausible but ultimately unexciting candidates is better than the other, but rather which of these two candidates with sky-high negatives is worse than the other.

                      Your anti-Trump harrumph has been noted for the record, , so you’re in the clear.

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                      • If Russia decides to confirm our worst fears and releases the emails, this becomes a shitshow of the worst order.

                        If, however, Russia does nothing, Trump looks awful (and, yes, treasonous).

                        So now I’m wondering if there will be an email dump.

                        Those (should I add “of us” here? Would that make it better?) of us who hope for Hillary to get elected (even if not to the point where they’re willing to vote for her) are hoping that Russia does nothing.

                        Right? That’s what we’re hoping here?

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                  • Burt,
                    Yeah, I’ve heard some intellectually rigorous defenses of ending immigration permanently (or at least for the next 100 years or so). They start with the idea that we’re soon enough only going to be able to feed 200 million people in America. We’ve ALREADY got double that, so — immigrants are something we can ill afford.

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                  • Burt Likko:
                    Well, it’d be interesting to hear someone come up with an intellectually rigorous defense of a Trump policy or of Trump himself. Most of what I see out on teh Twitter — Trump’s favored medium of discourse — boils down to #HillaryIsWorse.

                    RE: Defending Trump
                    1) Throwing the rascals out periodically is good for democracy. For example if we’re interested in holding the gov accountable for things like the IRS from suppressing free speech, this is the way to do it.
                    2) Trump-the-person is strikingly different (i.e. saner) than Trump-the-public-character. When you look at Trump’s children, they’re all seriously functional, sane, people.
                    3) Being President is mostly about management, delegation, and communicating with the public, those are Trump’s strengths.
                    4) A reputation as a loose cannon isn’t an entirely bad thing when it come to international relations.
                    5) Presidential Style and Presidential dignity aren’t important when you get to the nitty gritty on any issue.
                    6) The GOP will keep both the House and Senate, and Trump probably doesn’t care about what bills are passed as long as he gets credit, meaning breaking the log-jam would be a really good thing.
                    7) Trump as a businessman presumably has some idea on how to grow the economy.
                    8) Trump is very clearly not a social warrior, it’d be a good thing to end the GOP’s attempts to police people’s bedrooms and also end efforts to move God into the government.
                    9) Hillary is worse.
                    10) He’s overweight, old, he’ll be in a lot of stress… and his VP is solid. There’s a joke making the rounds that his VP will be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

                    The problem is his ‘act’ makes him strikingly difficult to evaluate. Maybe he dumps the anti-free-trade (anti-immigration) parts of his leadership and the various other things which train-wreck the economy, maybe he doubles down on them.

                    Hillary is a corrupt state-power enhancer, and that, for it’s flaws, is a known thing.

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                    • This is a good effort; but are you actually convinced by these points or just flexing your brain? My issue is that (aside from the Lock Her Up argument) this whole case relies on the presumption that everything we’ve ever seen from Trump is completely misrepresenting him. His decades old interviews, his press conferences, his debates, his convention, his response to gaffes, the kind of people on his team, the claims from his business partners – all of these things paint a consistent picture of Trump-the-character. And we are supposed to trust that this image is 100% wrong because (a) Trump is very rich; and (b) his kids look nice and give a good speech. Does that convince you? Do you think it’s generally a good strategy to give such a free pass to a candidate just because they’re wealthy and have a healthy family?

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                      • This is a good effort; but are you actually convinced by these points or just flexing your brain?

                        Just flexing my brain, although imho a lot of these are reasonably close to correct (especially ‘throw the rascals out’). But I have to judge him according to his claims, not what I want to read into him.

                        As for him being ‘different’; we already know that. Everyone who meets him personally says something like that, he’s been the showman from day one, and his kids aren’t just able to give pretty speeches, they’re functional people. Having said that, this just makes him ‘unknown’, not ‘puppies and rainbows’. I could just have easily included this in a list of negatives.

                        To the extent he actually has a platform: he’s anti-immigration, anti-free-trade, & pro-isolationism… and that’s an economic train-wreck which deserves to be punished. He’s also running on “big-man” government which I view as poisonous (although Hillary is similar here). Lastly the GOP’s last President was pretty bad and that ended up giving the Dems a super-majority.

                        I don’t think Hillary is going to lead this country where it needs to go, she’s very much a ‘state-control’ gal, but I need to cut my losses.

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                      • You left out how Trump will balance the budget by not paying federal contractors.

                        I view that as economic insanity which should be discouraged… but the point was to make a case for him. To be fair to Trump, Obama promised to lower the ocean, so making outlandish promises isn’t new… but that’s a dodge and I’m trying to be analytical here.

                        The big issue that kind of promise raises is: What happens to his followers when they find out he can’t divide by zero or otherwise make economic insanity work, i.e. is there a 2nd Act?

                        There is still time, barely, for Trump2-the-master-of-economic-sanity to emerge, but I don’t expect it. He becomes President on the thinnest of majorities, then he instantly disappoints his followers and tarnishes the GOP’s brand, maybe as bad as Bush did.

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                • Who is disagreeing with anybody on Trump, here? Taking yet another opportunity to say how much we are against Trump and how bad he is sure can be said in good-faith and it can be well-reasoned… but who here disagrees on Trump?

                  Well, silence or assent when you agree–even if you think you were previously known to agree–really seems to be exactly the sort of thing that builds trust. Sarcasm, especially the sort that suggests that people are being mindlessly partisan when expressing a concern, seems to be the sort of thing that would do precisely the opposite.

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                  • My interest is usually on the whole “wait, what does this mean?” and “how will this play out?” rather than the whole issue of “let’s judge what happened”.

                    What Trump did was extraordinary and, if some interpretations are correct, downright treasonous while, at the same time, it seems to be coming out that what Hillary did was something that endangered National Security (and this argument comes from the same people who argued mere weeks ago that what Hillary would not have endangered National Security).

                    *THAT* is interesting.

                    My interest remains in what happens with Russia now and whether they will release the emails (that I already assume that they have).

                    It is much less so in how bad Trump is for doing what he did and arguing against me as if I am somehow defending Trump when I am instead trying to figure out what happens because of this is asking me to argue against a position that I do not hold and am not interested in defending.

                    Like, at all.

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                    • My interest is usually on the whole “wait, what does this mean?” and “how will this play out?” rather than the whole issue of “let’s judge what happened”.

                      Yes, and I think comments that look like partisan snark, or even anti-partisan snark, are not likely to encourage people to discuss things along those lines.

                      As for the difference between Clinton’s sin of being extremely careless with here email and Trump’s sin of… asking Russian intelligence agencies to help him win the election by engaging in criminal activities so he can shift US foreign policy in a radically pro-Russia direction, well, it’s important in how this plays out because, while there are many things that affect how future developments will play out, one of those things is what the candidates have actually done.

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        • Yep. Long ago, my group at Bell Labs loaned upwards of $100K of custom test equipment to one of the local telephone companies to use in their defense of a lawsuit. I was having a horrible time getting them to return the gear and one of the people in my group heard me cursing after another phone call.

          “You want I should tell my Uncle Guido about it?” he asked (imagine fairly heavy Brooklyn accent here).
          “Huh?” I replied.
          “Uncle Guido does enforcement work for the mob. If I ask him for a favor, he’ll arrange for someone to have a talk with those guys in Atlanta.”

          There are people that you don’t want to owe a return favor to.

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        • You mean he’s more upset that a Presidential candidate is trying to collude with the intelligence services from a foreign country, and benefit from criminal activities perpetrated by that service, than he is that HRC was careless with her emails?

          I just want to be extra clear here that this is what’s bugging you.

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          • pillsy:
            You mean he’s more upset that a Presidential candidate is trying to collude with the intelligence services from a foreign country, and benefit from criminal activities perpetrated by that service, than he is that HRC was careless with her emails?

            I just want to be extra clear here that this is what’s bugging you.

            Of course, dude. As far as I can tell based on his participation here, Notme could literally watch a Republican shoot a small child in the face, on live television, and he would find a way to blame it on “liberals”.

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      • Do we doubt that Russia has already tried to do exactly what Trump encouraged them to do this morning and break into the much-less-secure email that Secretary Clinton improperly used? No, of course they already have tried, and maybe succeeded, and that’s not the point.

        The point is that a man who aspires to be President of the United States openly encouraged an adversarial foreign power to search for American diplomatic secrets using methods that violate American laws.

        If you assume they *already* *have* all of those emails then no, he’s not encouraging them to search for them illegally, they can just search their own computers. That goose is already cooked.

        The more interesting question is *when* will Russia release Hillary’s emails? My guess is October, when it will do the most damage.

        The other questions would be “why” would they do this, and the answer would be something like “dominate Europe”. I.e. Trump is an isolationist and wants our European allies to pay their own way, which effectively would leave individual countries on their own and they could be bullied/invaded by Russia.

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        • I would also assume they have copies of the emails. What I wouldn’t assume is that they want Trump and not Hilary. I would assume that if they (the emails) are valuable, then they are valuable from a blackmail standpoint. Which speaks to the idea that she is more valuable to them in the white house, rather than Trump. If they wanted to to keep her out, doesn’t it stand to reason that they would already be dropping the info, and I am not talking about the weak sauce DNC emails, which is a different server handled by different people.

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          • Which speaks to the idea that she is more valuable to them in the white house, rather than Trump.

            That was exactly my feelings a week ago… but assume Trump is on course to weaken Europe via isolationism and Russia gets another country or two.

            What could they possibly blackmail her into which would be better than that? Further she has had multiple scandals before, if she’s in office then she probably won’t care that much.

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          • If they wanted Hillary in office they would be doing absolutely nothing to hurt her. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. They wouldn’t’ be doing this at all. By harming her they are helping Trumpy. How does that suggest they want her. If this isn’t’ classic Clinton Derangement Syndrome i dont’ know what is. Ruskies, maybe, doing things to hurt Clintons prez run…it must show the Ruskies want her!!!!

            Also, if they have more stuff they will parcel it out over time. Why dump everything all at once. I’m sure continued email dumps which harm her will be seen as even evidence of how the Ruskies want her.

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            • Very good point.

              Unless, of course, that this is part of the negotiations… for what they get to stay silent. A little “taste” of how they can make her prize disappear. So they release some harmless trifles about atheist Bernie. Classic walk-away strategy. Walk away and let the other side feel their world start to rock. A tough play to pull off, but when it works, the other side folds.

              Ok, I’m a little embarrassed that I wrote that, but we don’t know what we don’t know. :-)

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              • Or the more obvious and effective strategy would be to have a devious Ruskie operative, lets call him Boris talk to Hills or her people secretly and let her know what they have. Offer some examples of e-mails as proof. Keep it secret so you dont’ hurt the chances of the person they want to win but let her know they have something. That way they maximize the chances of what they want instead of doing something to harm the chances of what they want. Or they just want the guy who wants to ditch NATO and/or not defend the baltics which just happen to right next to Putinville.

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                • Totally, Boris did that, but Squirrel told him to f*** off (or conversely offered Latvia without Estonia and Lithuania… I mean, one is useless without the set, right?) so this is the proof that if these nothing burger emails can rock her boat, think about the prime rib.

                  But seriously… Trump is simply unreliable. He might abandon NATO or he might decide that even though he left NATO Latvia is worth escalation – because to not do so would be Putin disrespecting him. Hillary is a known quantity… If I get to pick my trading partner and name my terms, I’m going with Hillary.

                  There, I said something nice about her, I think.

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              • Does Putin, or Russia at all these days, strike you as subtle? Machiavellian? Heck, does anyone in real life actually set up eight-layer deep plans?

                I mean even taking the whole “We can blackmail Clinton” thing at face-value (instead of being properly skeptical) — why would Russia make it known to the public that they could do this, instead of….just to Clinton?

                If your goal is to get a candidate you can blackmail into office, you don’t announce to the freaking world that maybe you can blackmail them and try to damage their campaign.

                Your damage their opponents

                So let’s appliy Occam’s Razor. What’s the simplest explanation for their actions, with the fewest assumptions?

                Russia has some close ties with Trump, Trump is proposing things Russia would really like that are a massive departure from anything HRC (or even other GOP candidates would ever support), and now Russia appears to have hacked the DNC servers and is leaking information that hurts (to one degree or another) the DNC and HRC.

                Occam’s razor says it’s because they prefer Trump, because you only need one assumption — they’re acting in their own interests.

                Trying to somehow spin it into some weird blackmail attempt on Clinton requires assuming that (1) they got real dirt on Clinton that (2) they have a plan that requires damaging Clinton but not too much because [something something Trump something Trump still loses something this makes the blackmail more effective?? something] and (3) they’re the worst blackmailers in human history because blackmail works on nobody but the blackmailer and the blackmailee even knowing it’s happening.

                I’m pretty sure that plot wouldn’t even work in a movie.

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                • A much simpler theory is that the leaks are a response to the breach being publicly acknowledged and attributed to Russian government sources, with any impact on the elections a secondary concern at best.

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                  • Secretive people keep secrets. They don’t’ let anything out unless it helps them. They don’t’ acknowledge stuff just because it went public. Heck we that with classified stuff in the US. In fact some of the classified stuff on Hillary’s email were about NY Times reports about drones. But it was still secret even though it had been in the paper and secrecy people weren’t going to treat it as any less secret.

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                  • A much simpler theory is that the leaks are a response to the breach being publicly acknowledged and attributed to Russian government sources, with any impact on the elections a secondary concern at best.

                    Is that the ordering of events?: that the DNC went public about hacked email accounts and only then those emails were posted to Wikileaks? I thought it went the other way.

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                    • Yes; Crowdstrike, the first company the DNC brought in, issued their report on the breach on June 14, blaming Russian intelligence agencies. On June 15, the Guccifer 2.0 blog and Twitter account appeared, as did the first leak (the oppo file on Trump, handed to Gawker).

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                      • Ahh. Thanks.

                        Going back to your claim about impact on the election being secondary, doesn’t that seem inconsistent with why someone (Russians or whoever) would hack what is, in effect, an institution designed to determine electoral outcomes?

                        Not to mention that there’s a lag time between hacking a server and compiling the collected data and funneling to media outlets (and their lag time in actually publishing it).

                        Seems to me the ONLY reason to hack the DNC – an institution constructed to determine electoral outcomes – is to impact an election. Otherwise, why hack it at all? Vendettas? Unpaid gambling debts?

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                          • OK, I was too loose there: Hack and make public.

                            So the question then is: Why do those two things other than to impact an election? Your suggestion is that the hacker did it in response to the hack having become public. Bu why go public then if the reason to hack is to know your enemy.

                            Disseminating the hacked emails doesn’t make you know your enemy better, seems to me.

                            {{Unless you want to see how they react…}}

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                            • The public release did two things: it created an alternative attribution for the attacks to shore up denials of responsibility, and it put the hacked material rather than the breach itself at the center of debate. I doubt that political damage to Clinton is unwelcome, but putting it at the center of the narrative seems to me to be running well ahead of the evidence we have.

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                              • That may be, Auto, but I’m still sorta waiting for your account of why the emails were published. If the purpose was to know your enemy full stop, then nothing is gained by disseminating the hacked content. If anything, making the hacked information public is places the hackers in an even brighter spotlight, which seems to run counter to your view that posting it would deflect attention away from themselves.

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                                • The public release did two things: it created an alternative attribution for the attacks to shore up denials of responsibility, and it put the hacked material rather than the breach itself at the center of debate.

                                  I must be being unclear, but I’m not sure how to clarify what I mean. As far as I can tell, the sequence of events is:

                                  1. Attackers gain access, start pulling out documents (last summer for the earlier breach)
                                  2. Attackers lose access (end of May)
                                  3. DNC publicly discloses breach, blames Russia (mid-June)
                                  4. Attackers release documents to public (immediately after 3)

                                  My claims are, first, that step 1 does not imply that step 4 was always intended, second, that the timing of 3 and 4 strongly suggests that at least the timing of the initial releases was influenced by the DNC’s (correct) decision to publicly disclose the breach instead of keeping quiet, and third, that influencing the election one way or another is only one of many possible motivations for 4.

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                • 1. Yes I think Putin is subtle. Not in all things or at all times, but I’m more surprised you might think he’s not.

                  2. I’m pretty sure that what I wrote had “skeptic” written all over it. Maybe I needed a nose on the smiley to help? :^)

                  3. Yes, you’ve described the plot accurately. I’m rather confident we could make an excellent movie with that plot because a movie audience would plausibly allow suspension of disbelief in your bullet point (1) where you cannot. If you have access to funds, I’m happy to get started.

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                • Seriously though… if we’re going to go all occam’s razor on this maybe start with the simplest motive:

                  Mrs. Clinton’s campaign has suggested that Mr. Putin was trying to even the score after the former secretary of state denounced a 2011 Russian election as filled with fraud.

                  “The first thing that the secretary of state did was say that they were not honest and not fair, but she had not even yet received the material from the observers,” Mr. Putin said at the time. “She set the tone for some actors in our country and gave them a signal,” Mr. Putin continued. “They heard the signal and, with the support of the U.S. State Department, began active work.”

                  Whether or not this could actually influence the election is a crap-shoot. Exposing the inner workings of the DNC perhaps showing real manipulation of the electoral process. That’s 100% simple payoff.

                  Its certainly possible that this is a play to get Trump elected; but the even simpler story is that Putin knows that the ONE (1) thing HRC wants more than anything in the universe, multiverse and in every single alternate reality is to be President (except for the one where she’s a jockey). To have a part in denying that to her, might just be all the motivation he needs.

                  In the end though, this is pretty extraordinary and I really don’t think we know what’s really going on yet.

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              • Maybe, but I think his cynicism is getting the better of him. I mean, what he’s outlined is certainly possible, yes? It’s just that there’s no evidence – none whatsoever – to support it, since the whole argument rests on the assumption that the Rooskies already have the 30K missing SecState emails.

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          • Aaron, this is a really crazy argument, I gotta say. Right outa the Conspiracy Theory handbook. It begins with an unprovable assumption then draws definitive conclusions from it.

            The strange part is we have actual evidence that Trump’s (stated) Eastern European policies are IN FACT very favorable to Russia and furthering Russia’s aspirations to expand its sphere of influence.

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            • Trump also said, just a couple months ago, that we should shoot Ruskie planes if diplomacy fails.

              What we have here is an opinion that Trumps statements mean one thing, something that supports yours and Dark’s argument. The statement could simply mean something else, or nothing at all. Just a quick bit of inanity, that the press has run in one direction with.

              He is too wildcard to want to keep on a long leash in regards to Russia. And assuming the emails are in Russian hands is kinda the point of this whole shebang. I could be getting old age in my paranoid though…

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              • The claim attributed to Trump is more restrictive than that, at least according to the writer of the article you link. It’s that

                Donald Trump has vowed to shoot down Russian jets approaching U.S. military assets should the Kremlin reject calls to stop.

                I think Trump is restricting the meaning of “US military assets” to things like planes, tanks, and in particular US Navy vessels since the comment was a response to some Russion fighter jets getting frisky with US ships. All that is consistent with Trump’s America First! stuff as well as his indication that certain international alliances and treaties (in Eastern Europe} won’t be honored by his presidency.

                Also this from Josh Marshall:

                So party activists were able to write one of the most conservative platforms in history. Not with Trump’s backing but because he simply didn’t care. With one big exception: Trump’s team mobilized the nominee’s traditional mix of cajoling and strong-arming on one point: changing the party platform on assistance to Ukraine against Russian military operations in eastern Ukraine.

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                • Dude, Its TPM, all the integrety of wet TP, emmm?

                  But seriously, that is one long Post Hoc. Which is generally the problem with conspiracy theorists like Marshall, stringing along a ton of unrelated gibberish. He even admits it: “This does not mean Trump is controlled by or in the pay of Russia or Putin. It can just as easily be explained by having many of his top advisors having spent years working in Putin’s orbit and being aligned with his thinking and agenda.” And then doubling down on the Propter Hoc.

                  Not saying that he is/isn’t in cahoots with Putin. I am saying that, were there spying and hacking by Russia, I think that there are better uses for it going one way, rather than the other.

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  3. What I am noticing here is that the norms might already be broken. A candidate for President of the United States has basically said “Russia, come and hack us”.

    Jaybird is acting like this is no big deal because he has some more R affinities than affinity to D and NotMe is going along because those dreaded Ds are a bigger enemy than the Rs.

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    • No, to the extent that this is a big deal, it is a big deal because Russia has already hacked into Ms. Clinton’s email server.

      They already did. They have her emails.

      I am of the opinion that that is what we should see as embarrassing.

      Russia releasing them would be evidence of them already having embarrassed us (and, thus, further embarrassing us).

      As for Trump, he’s a buffoon who would be bad for the country.
      But that does not mean that I will therefore vote for the person responsible for having the unsecured email server that was and is at the root of the embarrassment that we’re talking about here.

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      • No, to the extent that this is a big deal, it is a big deal because Russia has already hacked into Ms. Clinton’s email server.

        Um, no. They have the DNC’s emails, which is not HRC’s server. That’s the mistake Trump is making, in that he’s confused over who got hacked. But Trump is confused all the time, so him inviting a foreign country he owes a lot of money to to attack his enemies is pretty much not that unusual for him. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t start speculating that HRC might come down with that darn radiation poisoning issue that’s plagued a few of Putin’s critics.

        They also have the State Department emails from that period, because Russia hacked the State Department’s non-secure email system too. So they would have had HRC’s, had she used it.

        Last I checked, the forensic examination of her private server showed no evidence of it being hacked. Which doesn’t mean it wasn’t, of course, but if so it’s in the company of the very email everyone upset about her email said she should have been using, so not a lot of difference there.

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          • Well, as I said — if so, it’s in the company of the State Department non-secure server it was in replacement of.

            Which Russia hacked.

            So…not really clear on the point, anyways. If Russia hacked her, well — they’d have hacked her anyways via State Department’s hacked server so what’s it matter?

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            • I should be clearer: There is no evidence that anyone actually got in to Clinton’s server (i.e. compromised it). However, a quick Google search will reveal hundreds of articles along the lines of “Clinton’s server was probably hacked”. “Hacked” means someone tried to get access by some means: I’m technically “hacking” the FBI if I scan their servers for open ports. “probably” means no evidence but they got some tech guy on the record to come up with fantasy scenarios. I’m guessing you’re about to engage in a very long discussion with folks who have zero interest in understanding these distinctions.

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        • With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.

          [emphasis added]

          Official Report

          Can’t argue positively that they did hack it… but can’t argue that they didn’t. I think its pretty clear that Comey, at least, thinks the emails were compromised.

          I think Jaybird’s point is that if the Russians really did hack the DNC it certainly lends credibility to the idea that they probably hacked the Secretary of State’s. Whether it is in Russia’s best interest to disclose that info publicly (if they even did) is another question.

          If we game out that Russia has read some of her emails as SS… is maximal value to them to have that information to hold over president Clinton (i.e. some really big item, like quid-pro-quo with some foreign govt)? Or is the value so marginal that maximal use is to discredit her and deal with Trump (i.e. nastygrams about Obama or “those sorts of people”). But I agree… complete speculation for the fun of gaming out geopolitical drama.

          Then again, there’s no need to have enough evidence to put her in jail, just enough doubt that she’s trustworthy to be president.

          I still thinks she wins the election, though.

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            • And they intercepted various diplomatic calls if I remember correctly (not specifically related to Clinton).

              Its a highly competitive world out there. It might even have been a really interesting defense to say that the Clintons we so experienced with Govt IT that they doubted the capability of the organization to protect this sensitive info… so they invested at great personal expense in a system so advanced that it made the State Dept. security group weep with envy.

              That, though, doesn’t seem to have been the case. Admittedly I would have doubted that as the *real* reason, but if the FBI had said that they had never seen anything so sophisticated before in their lives, I would have had to concede the point.

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      • >>I am of the opinion that that is what we should see as embarrassing.

        Setting aside the fact that Russia doesn’t actually have HRC’s emails, how does her behavior normalize Trump’s? If Trump saying stupid shit doesn’t excuse Clinton’s transgressions, Clinton’s transgressions don’t excuse Trump’s stupid shit.

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          • >>I am not arguing that her behavior normalizes Trump’s behavior.

            I think you need to re-read your own comments then, starting with “No, to the extent that this is a big deal, it is a big deal because…”

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            • Here’s the tweet that I saw:

              If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton's 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2016

              Here’s what he said in the post above:

              “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said, staring directly into the cameras. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

              We’re in a situation where Russia could well have hacked into the Secretary of State’s email server and we’re arguing over Trump calling for Russia to release them to the FBI.

              Is this something crazy? Sure.
              Is it somehow even crazier to ask “how in the hell did they get the 30,000 emails?” Apparently.

              Reading these quotes with the assumption that Russia did not already have the emails, though, I will cheerfully say that they look like Trump is hoping that the Russians *WILL* hack into the email server which is downright treasonous.

              However, given that the server has been wiped and is, presumably, not connected to the internet anymore, the assumption that I had when I was reading his comments was that Russia already got the emails back when they hacked it and so I read those statements with that in mind.

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      • Condemning one act does not excuse the other.

        These are not equivalent acts. True, both were wrongful, and for similar reasons: both invite pernicious conduct by third parties of malign intent.

        Clinton’s wrongful act was the product of carelessness, maybe even recklessness. Trump’s wrongful act was the product of intent.

        An intentionally wrongful act is more blameworthy than a negligently wrongful act.

        Clinton’s conduct tells me that she made a mistake. Hopefully she learns from it. Future risks of similar negligently wrongful conduct by a President Clinton can be readily controlled. (President Obama operates under such controls right now, and gripes about them from time to time to no avail.) Trump’s conduct tells me he is not temperamentally suited to high political office. He isn’t going to change who he fundamentally is when they hand him the nuclear codes. Future risks of Donald Trump engaging in similar conduct unbecoming a President cannot be mitigated with the kinds of controls that can be created to mitigate future risks of Hillary Clinton using an unsecure email server. [Edited to fill out that last sentence for clarity.]

        An act likely to recur in the future, for which no apparent control exists, is cause for greater concern than a controllable act that is by comparison unlikely to recur in the future.

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        • Do you think that I am excusing what Trump did?

          Allow me to say this: I am not excusing what Trump did.

          I am, however, under the impression that if Russia releases her emails that the debate then gets to be over whether Russia did something wrong or whether Hillary did something wrong or whether Trump did something wrong and turn this into even more of a crapshow.

          And that the worst case scenario for Trump is Russia not doing anything.

          So now I’m wondering whether Russia will release the emails that I’m assuming they already have.

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            • I don’t think anyone here ever seriously believed that, and even the Comey report would disabuse that notion.

              Trump is very good about finding a way to get the spotlight on himself. He has a knack for saying and doing things that simply cannot be ignored. If there was truly no such thing as bad press, well, Trump is really good at getting press.

              But there is such a thing as bad press.

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              • Honest question, ’cause I’m genuinely lost in the cause/effect here.

                Am I remembering correctly that the original news was that the DNC hack had Russian “traces” (News)

                And then the connection was insinuated that if they had Russian traces, then maybe Putin is doing this to help Trump? (Democratic Spin)

                Well if the Russians hacked the DNC, why do we think they didn’t hack HRC? (Republican counter-spin)

                If they hacked HRC, maybe they have the deleted email. (Uber Trump Spin).

                Oops, ixnay on UssiansRay and EmailsMay that’s not the winner we thought it was, let’s say that Trump is inciting the Russians. (Uber DNC spin).

                I fully acknowledge that my timelines might be goofed here… but were at meta levels of spin now, aren’t we?

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              • Well, the question is then, “is this Bad Press?’

                Many people will not support the Trump no matter what, no matter politics. #nevertrump

                They will think this is bad bad bad.

                Others…, well we will find out in the next few days, wont we?

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            • . Which is odd, considering they are just yoga instructions and wedding invitations, right?

              Acoording to Hillary. But we all know she wouldn’t lie, right? It must be nice when you get to decide which emails you will even turn over.

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      • Jaybird:
        But that does not mean that I will therefore vote for the person responsible for having the unsecured email server that was and is at the root of the embarrassment that we’re talking about here.

        Russia is really good at this, and she was a high value target who was weakly defended.

        My expectation is that they got everything.
        My expectation is that people died because they trusted us and gave us sensitive info.
        My expectation is that Hillary’s emails also detail her getting money from people she shouldn’t in exchange for doing things she shouldn’t.

        And as bad as all that is, rather than have her in office so they can blackmail her, they want Trump in office because it’s in their interests.

        In terms of voting, that last thing should give everyone pause, because I seriously doubt Russia’s interests are aligned with our own.

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        • I mean that’s what all that rests on. You assume was weakly defended (except that State got hacked too, so weakly or strongly defended she’s not any better or worse off). Then you assume that they did hack her. Then you assume she’s evil, corrupt, and nefarious. Then you assume she was keeping evidence of that on her email. On unencrypted email no less, because while she’s evil, corrupt, and nefarious enough to “get away with it” for 20 years and millions of dollars of FBI investigations, she’s so freaking stupid that she launders money through a charity and discusses her evil plans through unencrpyted email on weakly defended servers.

          In short, unless we assume Clinton is a cartoon villain, your entire prediction is pretty much masturbatory fantasies. Specifically masturbatory fantasies about how much of a villain she is.

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          • You assume was weakly defended (except that State got hacked too, so weakly or strongly defended she’s not any better or worse off).

            Be careful when you say that the State Department got hacked. Which system?

            The reason for classification is to keep classified material off the main email system. You cannot email from the secure system (the one that contains Secret material) to the regular State Department email system. And you can’t send emails from the system that contains Top Secret stuff to either of the other two. Youre not even supposed to access the Top Secret system unless you’re in a SKIF.

            That’s the whole point of the system. To keep certain types of sensitive material off the main system.

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            • Be careful when you say that the State Department got hacked. Which system?

              Unsecure email, which is what Clinton’s system replaced for her.

              Despite the odd stories running around, she was clearly not using her server for classified communications. Bluntly, they found too little and it was all low-level. I mean the “most secret” stuff they found was a chain about the NYT article on drone strikes in Pakistan. Yes, those drone strikes are classified — but it was in the papers, and that’s what was being discussed.

              Bluntly put, if she was in a habit of using it for secure information — they’d have found it. Either in her emails or in the emails archived at State (since, you know, that’s who she’d be emailing about classified stuff, you know?)

              What got hacked at State was the email system HRC would have been using for her regular, non-secure email. Which instead she used a private server for.

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          • Assuming we don’t have an October Surprise; Remind me of this in November and I’ll be glad to say I was wrong. ;)

            And to be clear, I’d be happy to be wrong. For that matter, if Trump wins and rules in a sane manner, I’d be happy to admit I was wrong about him too.

            I base my opinion on the imperfect information I have in front of me, there are assumptions.

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    • That statement is pretty effin’ good.

      Trump gets to ‘wink wink’ at the Russians, while technically condemning what they might have done. But the HRC campaign will attack him for the ‘wink wink’ anyway, which just highlights the fact that both the DNC and Hillary’s private email servers were both compromised and contained embarrassing information.

      And he gets to imply that the Russians are dangerous and have no “respect” for this country (read: current administration).

      This guy might win.

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      • We have a hot take on the Internet here.

        Paul Ryan and Pence are distancing themselves from this comment. 538 is reporting that Catholics are going to HRC and yet your desire to be contrarian still trumps all because it means sticking it to liberals.

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        • What are the actual quotes, @saul-degraw? I assume you are talking about the HuffPo article which, while headlining that Pence was distancing, quoted him as saying “If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences”

          Or the 538 article that says cathlics are going to HRC, but evangelicals are going even stronger to Trump?

          Can I assume that is what you are talking about?

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          • The only thing I see in your posts is a general love of being contrarian. The GOP Speaker of the House says the statement is bad. Trump’s VP says the statement is bad. Others are trying to pass it off as a joke. Hanley, who has no love for the Democratic Party sees it as bad.

            You and Aaron and Notme are the only ones who seem to see it as brilliant or harmless.

            Why can’t the majority of observers be correct in this instance?

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            • No neither Ryan nor Pence are saying it is bad:
              Paul Ryan Spox: Putin Is ‘Thug’ Who Should ‘Stay Out Of This Election’
              Pence: “If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences”

              And while I wont speak for nor I don’t write here (for I am on the masthead) to be contrarian. I write here because I enjoy what this website offers, and because I feel that I have a perspective that is at least slightly different, thus providing a different take on events. This isn’t a site with set prescriptions and dogma. Which goes a long way to why I am here and why I enjoy it here.

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            • The only thing I see in your posts is a general love of being contrarian.

              Not my fault that you have poor reading comprehension when it comes to this stuff. It wouldn’t take me much time at all to pull up numerous comments by you accusing people who do all sorts of things that you don’t like of being mainly motivated by pissing off liberals. I don’t think it’s at all controversial to say that you have a hard time demonstrating an understanding of people who see things differently than you do.

              And I didn’t say the statement was brilliant. I said it was good. And I said nothing about harm.

              Let’s try this. I’m going to make a series of statements and you tell me which, if any, are wrong:

              1 – Trump didn’t actually ask the Russians to do any hacking, but he came close enough to get everyone riled up and talking about what he said, which gets his name to the top of the news cycle during the Democrats’ convention.

              2 – In pointing out that the Russians having “very little respect,” Trump gets to imply that the current administration and a subsequent HRC administration is/would not be up the task of countering the threat they present. It doesn’t help the D side that a bunch of them are on record as downplaying the threat from Russia when Romney brought it up in the last campaign.

              3 – To respond to Trump, the HRC campaign has to paint Trump as dangerous, which implicitly admits that both the DNC servers and Hillary’s private servers are at danger from Russian hackers. Painting Trump as dangerous is a negative with a certain group of voters, but that group was never going to vote for Trump in the first place.

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      • I’m not asking in any sort of BSDI kinda way, but more a, “Don’t invite foxes into the neighbor’s hen house when you live in a similar hen house,” kinda way. Do we really want to make Russian hacking a legit part of American politics/elections?

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        • Well, a big part of the problem is What did they Hack, and What was on It. And all the dancing around what Trump said aside, it was her/DNC’s server and emails. It really doesn’t matter what they have from the R’s, as long as the RNC’s email isn’t embarrassing, for there is no current SoS stuff that they could have.

          Everything should be expected to be hacked at. Weaponizing it? It would be nice not to, but this is a culture war. Will put up a post about it yesterday, I believe.

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            • It did make him infamous for saying “I am not a crook”. And it was after his reelection since it broke in 73. (He was elected in 72, right?)

              However, he did that whole “break in” Watergate thing, so people sort of switched to that and not the half-million he owed in back taxes. (About 2.5 million in today’s dollars).

              If I’m understanding the history properly, the tax issue came up in late ’73, and basically got buried under Watergate. But prior to Watergate leaking, the tax issue was really heating up.

              And strangely, he brought up the tax issue himself by claiming he’d been audited and had been declared “clean”. (Hint: Not the case). That’s right up there with daring reporters to follow you as you retire to the boat you named “Monkey Business”.

              Anyways, a big enough issue that the fact that candidates release their tax returns pretty much dates back to Ford releasing his, after Nixon resigned, as a way to restore some faith in the government.

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                • *shrug*. Personally, I think all Trump’s hiding in his taxes is that he’s not nearly as rich as he claims he is, and that his tax rates are staggeringly low.

                  The real ugly would be hidden in his corporate books, which aren’t something Presidential candidates are routinely asked to disclose.

                  Although, interestingly enough — Presidents generally place their investments into blind trusts, or otherwise completely divest themselves from decision making on such things, during the duration of their Presidency. (Mostly to avoid any impropriety, or appearance thereof).

                  Has anyone asked Trump how he intends to handle that, given his company is pretty much based on his name and name recognition?

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                    • I’ve no idea what’s a smart move for Trump. He’s gotten to the point where he’s calling on Russia to hack his opponents for him.

                      I know what’s a conventional move, but he threw that book out in favor of one he scrawled on the wall in his own feces.

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      • Totally honest here: Trump et als emails would be way more embarrassing than the DNC’s.

        Well, probably not embarrassing to Trump now that I think about it. Or the etals for that matter.

        Or his supporters, either.

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        • I think it’s pretty clear at this point that Donald Trump bears an absence of the “shame gene.” This condition manifests as sometimes displaying as markers of pride that which people bearing standard genetic phenotypes would see as cause for embarrassment (e.g., bragging about extramarital affairs, accepting public subsidies for “private” business transactions, being caught defrauding business associates and customers).

          As a committed advocate of legal equality, I urge everyone to not engage in genetic discrimination, but instead take note of how far he’s been able to come in life without so much as an accommodation for this important component of normative socialization.

          Functional and meaningful lives are possible notwithstanding the absence of the “shame gene” and there is hope that research may eventually lead to a favorable resolution of this condition.

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          • I believe in what I call “the law of conservation of shame.” I and others like me feel shame on behalf of those who can’t feel it for themselves. Watching political rallies, debates for public office, and reality TV all cause me to cringe uncontrollably and want to hide my face from those around me. I simply can’t do it.

            I have nothing but support for any research that would allow the truly shameless to bear more of the burden so I don’t have to.

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  4. Apparently breaking news on Rueters: Wikileaks releases hacked DNC voice mails. No reports on what is on them yet.

    Clearly embarrassing ( i assume) stolen voice mails released during the D convention are an evil plot by Hillary or more proof Putin wants her to be prez by hurting her big convention moment or lets just ignore all that stolen stuff and see what kind of stupid things were said.

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    • Whelp, negotiations broke down. They are out to destroy her. Drip, drip, drip.

      Unless… they know that such obvious tampering in elections by a foreign power who seems to have connections to Trump will actually rally people to Hillary in National Solidarity. So really, this is a ploy to get Hillary elected.

      …maybe because the *DO* have a deal. I knew it!

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    • Actually, it’s the voicemails from the previous leak they’ve…released in a new order or format or something dumb like that.

      Even the screaming madness of Reddit politics couldn’t find anything of interest in that mess. Turns out most voicemails are variations of “Here’s my name and number, call back please”.

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      • But that’s not how it’s being reported

        Here’s the article:

        WikiLeaks released files on Wednesday of what it said were audio recordings pulled from the emails of the Democratic National Committee that were obtained by hacking its servers.

        The latest release, which came in the middle of the Democratic National Convention where Hillary Clinton was officially named the party’s presidential nominee, is the second batch in a series that has deeply rattled the party and prompted the organization’s chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to step down.

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          • Yeah, I know. I was enjoying delicious Reddit tears (there were people there who listened to all of them, desperate to find the smoking gun that destroys HRC) on the fact that there was literally nothing there, and the more sober minded were even complaining not only was there nothing there (the most juicy was some elderly woman very angry about Sanders and complaining the DNC should do something about him, and “angry old woman shouts at political party’s voicemail is not exactly news) but that it was yet another Wikileaks “new leak” that was just the old leak repackaged.

            If you actually follow Assange and Wikileaks closely, it’s a very common pattern. They talk a huge game about what they’ve got, tease leaks for months, toss out “insurance files” , and then…release nothing really big, but promise the “good stuff” is coming. That’ll drip on until the next big leak they acquire.

            It’s very relentless PR, and it tends to work on the media because they’ve got about a 60-second memory. So they’ll play up the leak and report “The really great stuff is will come soon, says Wikileaks, promising ‘This is just the beginning'” and then stop following it until something happens. Which will be the next leak, about an entirely different topic.

            I’m not sure if it’s because Assange is desperate to stay relevant, or it’s more akin to addicts chasing a high — they’re certain they can get back to the glory days, when they had really good leaked information the world should know.

            But they’ve got a nasty habit of promising the moon and delivering…banal nothing.

            Their recent habit of publishing personal information is pretty troubling too. They quite deliberately published SSNs and CC numbers for DNC donors. Why? For the lulz, apparently.

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            • Not sure, I don’t think you’re ever sure in things like this.

              But there’s a lot of stuff that points to Russia.

              As for the text messages — oh dear god. The sexting we’re gonna hear about. But somehow I think if there was anything “there” there, we’d have heard about it.

              Constant drips of super hyped, but ultimately meaningless, information has been Wikileaks MO for awhile now.

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                • I think the best summation is “Tldr: this “lone hacker” uses many VMs, speaks Russian; username is founder of USSR secret police & likes laundering docs via Wikileaks.”

                  Some more interesting stuff:

                  The first fact is that the Guccifer 2 account, despite being ostensibly a lone Eastern European hacker, is totally out of character for lone hackers. For a start, most lone hackers show a huge sense of bravado and self-aggrandizement which is a role the Guccifer2 character acts very poorly. Even his hacker pseudonym “Guccifer2” references another hacker rather than choosing his own brand to operate under. Despite having his own outlet, Guccifer2 allowed his most impactful stolen documents to be laundered by another outlet, and stands idly by when that outlet spreads disinformation about his involvement.

                  Moreover, the quality of his English varies dramatically, even between sections of the same document when swapping between paragraphs that are more political to ones that are more technical, and he makes basic technical errors that sound an awful lot like a linguist misunderstanding a technical person, than a mistranslation. To top it all off, the hacker seems unable to explain how he hacked the DNC in any detail, and rather than bragging about how he technically hacked the DNC, he makes statements about it that make no technical sense.

                  In short, the notion that the hacker is an individual rather than an organization such as a foreign intelligence agency strains credulity beyond breaking point.

                  The second important fact is that the stolen documents were leaked en masse at all. There’s lots of capable foreign intelligence organizations that would plausibly hack the US to get dirt on senior Democrats, but mass-dumping stolen or intercepted political data to influence the public media has all the hallmarks of a Russian information influence operation. Other countries, of course, wouldn’t hesitate to use documents obtained via foreign intelligence for political advantage, or even maybe for HUMINT advantage, but mass-dumping intercepted documents is a Rubicon most foreign intelligence agencies simply do not cross.

                  The third fact is technical; uncovered by cybersecurity expert and author Thomas Rid, showing that the malware control servers used in the DNC hack are the same computers as the malware control servers used in the hack of the German Parliament a few years ago.

                  It’s an important link and one that’s hard to fake. It ties the DNC hack to a much larger series of hacks, including against NATO, Georgia, human rights and Russian military monitoring groups in Syria, ministries of foreign affairs in Europe, and so on. It’s also important because the Bundestag hack was attributed by the head of Germany’s BfV intelligence to be Russian intelligence.

                  In the game of attribution, there’s no such thing as “proof”; only a body of evidence that combine to form an overall assessment; but the link between the DNC malware servers and the Bundestag malware servers is about as close to “proof” as it comes.

                  (bolding mine)

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                • Thanks, that was a good article on the deductive reasoning.

                  Does he discuss the timelines elsewhere? I’m reading in other outlets that APT28 and APT29 seem to have been “at work” for over a year – which is well before Trump moved from Joke to OMG.

                  Which just means that the decision to hack and the decision to publish are two different items. Or, more accurately the former shouldn’t be attributable to a desire the help Trump; while the latter might be, or it might just be a collateral benefit to the real goal of humiliating and exposing HRC. Fascinating all around.

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  5. Being the partisan that I am, I am more interested in the reaction of the conservative base to Trump’s Russian sympathies.

    After decades of screeching about None Dare Call It Treason and Soft On Communism and Standing Up To The Russians, the silence on the rightwingosphere so far is deafening.

    What we have is a candidate who openly colludes with Russia and promises to do their bidding, and the Reagan base is wildly enthusiastic about him.

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