Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, indicated that he believes “Russian state actors” had some involvement in the leaked Democratic National Committee emails that show top Democrats writing off Sen. Bernie Sanders’s chances during the primaries.
“There’s evidence Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole those emails, and there are experts saying they are releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump,” Mook told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview that aired Sunday on “State of the Union.” “It’s no coincidence these emails were released on the eve of the convention.”
Mook said the idea that Russia leaked Democrats’ emails to possibly help Trump was “disturbing.”
“We need to be concerned Trump and his allies made changes to the platform to make it more pro-Russian, and we saw him talking about how NATO shouldn’t intervene [in Russian disputes]. So I think when you put it all together, it’s a disturbing picture,” he said.
When Tapper pressed him further, Mook made a connection between the June breach of the DNC’s network by Russian government hackers and WikiLeaks’s publication on Friday of 20,000 emails from DNC officials.
Some of those emails appear to show party officials questioning Sanders’s viability and discussing how to use his faith against him.
“If they are the ones that took them, we have to believe they are the ones releasing them,” Mook said.
He doubled down on that assertion in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.
However they got released, some of the emails could be damaging to the Democratic Party’s attempts to unify at its convention in Philadelphia this week. The DNC is supposed to be neutral throughout the primary process, but Sanders spent much of it accusing the DNC and its chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Fla., of supporting Clinton behind the scenes.
Wasserman Schultz will not speak at the convention, CNN reported.
On Sunday, Sanders repeated his call for Wasserman Schultz to resign. Mook did not go that far in his interviews on Sunday, instead saying, “I’m going to leave that to the DNC because I don’t have all the facts.”
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Amber Phillips