Obama Spins: ‘possible’ Putin is trying to sway vote for Trump
(CNN)President Barack Obama on Tuesday wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be attempting to tip the US presidential election toward Donald Trump.
“Anything’s possible,” Obama responded when asked during an interview whether Russians could be working to influence the contest between Republican nominee Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.“Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin,” Obama said during the sit-down with NBC News. “And I think that Trump’s gotten pretty favorable coverage back in Russia.”Democrats have been alleging that Putin is seeking to alter the White House race after a massive hack of the Democratic National Committee and subsequent release of damaging emails from the organization’s staff. Private cybersecurity experts have pinned the breach on Russia, and the FBI is investigating.Obama said in the NBC interview, “What we do know … is that the Russians hack our systems. Not just government systems, but private systems.” He couldn’t identify yet the motive behind the cyber intrusion.
The President’s comment was the furthest the US government has gone in publicly blaming Russia for carrying out cyber attacks on the US.In a bid to discourage cyber attacks by foreign governments, the administration in recent years has pursued a “name and shame” policy, publicly attributing computer intrusions to government entities in China, North Korea and Iran. But not Russia.White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco, appearing Tuesday at a cyber-security conference hosted by the FBI and Fordham University in New York, said there wasn’t a reluctance to name Russia. Determining attribution takes investigative work, which is ongoing, she said. – READ MORE