- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 24, 2016

An aide to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton says “Russian state actors” leaked Democratic National Committee emails on the eve of the party’s convention in order to help Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“What’s disturbing to us is experts are telling us Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, and other experts are now saying the Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails were released on the eve of our convention here.”

The emails, released by WikiLeaks last week, show top DNC officials conspiring to undermine Mrs. Clinton’s primary rival, Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders.

Mr. Mook suggested there was a tie between the release of the emails and pro-Russia sentiment echoing from the Republican National Convention.

He pointed to Mr. Trump’s comments that the United States should not necessarily comes to the defense of its NATO allies in the event of an attack from Russia.

“I think we need to be concerned that we also saw last week at the Republican convention that Trump and his allies made changes to the Republican platform to make it more pro-Russian, and we saw him talk about how NATO shouldn’t intervene to defend — necessarily should intervene to defend our Eastern European allies if they are attacked by Russia,” Mr. Mook said.

When pressed on the credibility of his information by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Mr. Mook said experts have told the DNC that the hack came from people “likely to be working in coordination with Russia.”

“And, again, I think if the Russians in fact had these emails, again, I don’t think it’s very coincidental that they’re being released at this time to create maximum damage on Hillary Clinton and to help Donald Trump,” he said.

In a Twitter post responding to allegations of a link to Russia, WikiLeaks called the notion a “discredited conspiracy theory” and said there is “no affinity, whatsoever.”

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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