- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 31, 2016

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said Sunday that the Russian email hacks have raised serious questions about Republican nominee Donald Trump’s support for the Cold War foe and his fitness to serve as commander in chief.

Mrs. Clinton stopped short of saying Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to get Mr. Trump elected, which some Democratic leaders have claimed.

“I’m not going to jump to that conclusion. But I think laying out the facts raised serious issues about Russian interference in our elections, in our democracy,” Mrs. Clinton said on “Fox News Sunday.”

She said Mr. Trump has demonstrated an “absolute allegiance to a lot of Russian wish-list foreign policy positions.”

She noted his comments that NATO is obsolete and doubts about sanctions on Russian citizens over Russian actions in Crimea and Ukraine.

The Putin issue gained prominence after Russia was blamed for hacking email at the Democratic National Committee that revealed party officials plotted to sabotage the campaign of Mrs. Clinton’s primary rival, Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders.

The embarrassing emails were made public by WikiLeaks.

Mrs. Clinton kept the focus on Russia.

“We would not tolerate that from any other country, particularly one with whom we have adversarial positions,” she said. “And for Trump to both encourage that and praise Putin, despite what appears to be a deliberate effort to try to affect the election, I think raises national security issues.”

Mrs. Clinton also criticized Mr. Trump for saying at a news conference that Russia should hack her secret email server to find the more than 30,000 message from when she was secretary of state that she permanently erased.

Mr. Trump later said he was being sarcastic.

Mrs. Clinton didn’t buy that explanation.

“If you take his encouragement that Russia hack into American email accounts, if you take the quite excessive praise for Putin, his absolute allegiance to a lot of Russian wish-list foreign policy positions, his effort to try to distance himself from that backlash which rightly came not just from Democrats but Republicans, independents, national security and intelligence experts, leads us once again to conclude that he is not temperamentally fit to be president and commander in chief,” said Mr. Clinton.

Mr. Trump previously has praised Mr. Putin for being a strong leader.

He said Sunday that he has no relationship with Mr. Putin and that Democrats were raising the Russia issue because they were afraid of “losing the election.”

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