US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton looks on during a campaign rally in Youngstown, Pennsylvania, on July 30, 2016. (AFP photo)
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has doubled down on the claim that Russia was behind the recent hacking attack against the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
“We know that Russian intelligence services hacked into the DNC,” Clinton said, in her first interview with Fox News in more than five years.
On July 22, the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks published thousands of hacked emails obtained from the DNC’s servers, exposing an insider effort by DNC officials in favor of Clinton to undermine US Senator Bernie Sanders’ bid for the White House.
American intelligence agencies say they have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the hack.
Clinton repeated the allegation in the interview, implying that there was connection between the attack and what she called Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We know that they [Russians] arranged for a lot of those emails to be released and we know that Donald Trump has shown a very troubling willingness to back up Putin, to support Putin,” she noted.
The former secretary of state doubted if Putin was rooting for Trump in the race, but accused Moscow of “interference in our elections, in our democracy.”
“For Trump to both encourage that and to praise Putin despite what appears to be a deliberate effort to try to affect the election I think raises national security issues,” she said, referring to Trump’s recent call on Russia to hack Clinton.
Clinton is accused of breaching federal law by exchanging more than 30,000 work-related emails through a personal server during her tenure as the US secretary of state. She said another 30,000 “personal” emails were deleted from the server.
On Wednesday, Trump asked Russia “to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” but later on said he was being “sarcastic” when he made that request.
Clinton’s campaign, however, reacted seriously and sounded the alarm over what they called growing evidence of a foreign power “interfering in an American election.”
Russia has firmly rejected the claims, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying on Thursday that the claims about Moscow’s involvement in the leaked DNC emails were based on "total stupidity" and were motivated by anti-Russian sentiment.

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