Are The Russians Backing Donald Trump?

Does Putin want Donald Trump to be the President of the United States?

WASHINGTON –  As we get ready for day one of the 2016 Democratic Convention there is a combination of yet another email controversy as well as a possible The Democrats are reeling over the scandal caused by the leaded inter-office emails that paints a picture of a possible pushing against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was Hillary Clinton’s chief rival for the party’s nomination.

The big question that is yet to be answered is, was the release of the emails a plot by the Russian government to help get Republican Donald Trump elected president. It sounds like a storyline from a 1960’s spy novel but there seems to be some truth to at the very least part of the story.

The release on Friday of some 20,000 stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, many of them embarrassing to Democratic leaders, has intensified discussion of the role of Russian intelligence agencies in disrupting the 2016 campaign.

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The emails, released first by a supposed hacker and later by WikiLeaks, exposed the degree to which the Democratic apparatus favored Clinton over her primary rival, Senator Sanders of Vermont, and triggered the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party chairwoman, on the eve of the convention’s first day.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been a longtime critic of Hillary Clinton, says his organization’s upcoming leak of more of her emails should be enough to indict her—but doubts the FBI will do so.

“We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton,” he said. “We’ve accumulated a lot of material about Hillary Clinton. We could proceed to an indictment.”

Assange said, however, that in his opinion, the FBI would choose not to indict her in hopes of gaining favor with a Clinton administration. “The FBI could push for concessions from the new Clinton government,” he said. But, he added, “there’s very strong material, both in the emails and in relation to the Clinton Foundation.”

According to multiple media outlets both liberal and conservative organizations both FBI and CIA researchers have concluded that the national committee was breached by two Russian intelligence agencies, which were the same attackers behind previous Russian cyberoperations at the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year.

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There is another piece of evidence here and that metadata from the released emails suggests that the documents passed through Russian computers. Though a hacker claimed responsibility for giving the emails to WikiLeaks, the same agencies are the prime suspects. Whether the thefts were ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, or just carried out by apparatchiks who thought they might please him, is anyone’s guess.

The DNC has been on the offensive that the Russian’s favor Trump over Clinton and that team Wikileaks have been in touch with Russian government since day one of the hacking of the party office.

According to the New York Times It was a remarkable moment: Even at the height of the Cold War, it was hard to find a presidential campaign willing to charge that its rival was essentially secretly doing the bidding of a key American adversary. But the accusation is emerging as a theme of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, as part of an attempt to portray Mr. Trump not only as an isolationist, but also as one who would go soft on confronting Russia as it threatens nations that have shown too much independence from Moscow or, in the case of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, joined NATO.

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Trump has also said he would like to “get along with Russia” if he is elected, and complimented Mr. Putin, saying he is more of a leader than President Obama. Mr. Putin has in turn praised Mr. Trump. But Trump campaign officials on Sunday strongly rejected any connections between their candidate and efforts to undermine the Democrats.

“Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you or your campaign and Putin and his regime?” George Stephanopoulos, of “This Week,” asked Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman.

“No, there are not,” Mr. Manafort shot back. “That’s absurd. And, you know, there’s no basis to it.”

According to Politifacts Ukrainian political experts say Manafort, 67, was first hired to work in Ukraine more than a decade ago by the country’s wealthiest businessman, Rinat Akhmetov.

Akhmetov, a steel and iron ore magnate, is worth an estimated $2.8 billion, according to Forbes.

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Officially, Manafort advised Akhmetov in 2005 on a corporate communication strategy for one of his companies, System Capital Management.

Akhmetov, however, also was a supporter of Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s prime minister, a leader of the Party of Regions and an ally of Vladimir Putin. Yanukovych became president in 2010, but fled under escort to Russia after Ukraine’s 2014 revolution.

So, does Manafort know Putin? The answer is yes but just because you know someone that does not mean that you are behind a plot to embarrass the Democratic Party.

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.