Clinton Discusses Election at Women for Women Luncheon

On Tuesday afternoon, Hillary Clinton was a guest of the Women for Women International Luncheon in New York City. During the event, Clinton had a conversation with Christiane Amanpour. The two discussed a number of issues including the Donald Trump administration, a potential conflict with North Korea, and the 2016 presidential election. While Clinton accepted the blame for her loss, she said that there were a number of other factors including the letter from FBI Director James Comey and Russian hacking of the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary for America Campaign Director John Podesta.

Clinton said she would have won the election if it had not been for the Comey letter and Wikileaks in late October adding, “If the election had been held on October 27, I’d be your president, and it wasn’t. It was on October 28.” Clinton did not deflect all of the blame saying that her campaign made mistakes. “I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot and I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had,” she admitted. Clinton vowed to remain active in politics as a citizen and urged everyone to do the same. Watch a video from the event below.

For all the latest, follow our Scheduled Events page and follow the Clintons on Twitter @HillaryClinton, @billclinton, and @ChelseaClinton. You can also follow Hillary on Facebook and Instagram.

News Source: CBS News, The Washington Post, Time, CNN, Politico

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Hillary Clinton Speaks at Events on the Campuses of Wellesley and Harvard

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Late this past week, Hillary Clinton spoke with audiences at two major New England Colleges. First, on Thursday evening, Clinton spoke at a private, student and faculty only event on the campus of Wellesley College. As Clinton’s Alma Mater, the event focused on Clinton’s time at the school and her political career. Clinton spoke briefly and took questions from the audience. According to sources inside the room, Clinton was asked by one audience member about what she would have changed about her campaign. She responded simply, “I’d win.” Clinton graduated from Wellesley College in 1969 and is scheduled to give this year’s commencement address in May.

On Friday, Clinton took part in a series of “Fireside Chats” on the campus of Harvard University. Clinton’s appearance was part of the “American Secretaries of State Project: Diplomacy, Negotiation, and Statecraft” series sponsored by the Kennedy School, Law School, and Business School. She met with undergraduate members of the IOP’s Student Advisory Committee and a few lucky residents of Kirkland House. Clinton is the seventh former Secretary of State to take part in the series. Like the event at Wellesley College, it was closed to the public and press.

For all the latest, follow our Scheduled Events page and follow the Clintons on Twitter @HillaryClinton, @billclinton, and @ChelseaClinton. You can also follow Hillary on Facebook and Instagram.

News Source: Boston Globe, The Harvard Crimson, The Hill

Podesta Speaks Out About Email Hack

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 04:  John Podesta, campaign chairman for Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, looks on during a campaign rally at The Great Hall at Heinz Field on November 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With less than a week to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 04: John Podesta, campaign chairman for Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, looks on during a campaign rally at The Great Hall at Heinz Field on November 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

John Podesta, the former chairman for Hillary for America, was interviewed by Tech Crunch about the election, and specifically the hacking of his Gmail account and the emails of the Democratic National Committee shortly before the election in November. The emails from the DNC and Podesta were then posted on WikiLeaks. US intelligence agencies traced the hacking back to Russia, and the hack was one of the issues that plagued the Clinton campaign in the weeks leading up to the election.

In the interview, Podesta spoke about the hacking and the failure of the FBI to properly investigate. “I think to this day it’s inexplicable that they were so casual about the investigation of the Russian penetration of the DNC emails. They didn’t even bother to send an agent to the DNC; they left a couple of messages at the IT help desk saying, ‘You might want to be careful.’ There are at least forces within the FBI that wanted her to lose,” he said. Podesta also discusses the failures of the campaign and the rise of fake news. Read the full interview HERE. Follow Podesta on Twitter @johnpodesta.

For all the latest, follow our Scheduled Events page and follow the Clintons on Twitter @HillaryClinton, @billclinton, and @ChelseaClinton. You can also follow Hillary on Facebook and Instagram.

News Source: Tech Crunch

Podesta Pens Op-Ed about the FBI

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The chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, John Podesta, published an op-ed in The Washington Post criticizing the FBI for its handling of Clinton’s email investigation and the hacking of his emails as well as the emails of the Democratic National Committee. Read Podesta’s full op-ed below:

Something is deeply broken at the FBI
By: John Podesta
December 15, 2016

The more we learn about the Russian plot to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign and elect Donald Trump, and the failure of the FBI to adequately respond, the more shocking it gets. The former acting director of the CIA has called the Russian cyberattack “the political equivalent of 9/11.” Just as after the real 9/11, we need a robust, independent investigation into what went wrong inside the government and how to better protect our country in the future.

As the former chair of the Clinton campaign and a direct target of Russian hacking, I understand just how serious this is. So I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT “help desk.” As a former head of the FBI cyber division told the Times, this is a baffling decision: “We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana.”

What takes this from baffling to downright infuriating is that at nearly the exact same time that no one at the FBI could be bothered to drive 10 minutes to raise the alarm at DNC headquarters, two agents accompanied by attorneys from the Justice Department were in Denver visiting a tech firm that had helped maintain Clinton’s email server.

This trip was part of what FBI Director James B. Comey described as a “painstaking” investigation of Clinton’s emails, “requiring thousands of hours of effort” from dozens of agents who conducted at least 80 interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of documents. Of course, as Comey himself concluded, in the end, there was no case; it was not even a close call.

Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI.

Comey justified his handling of the email case by citing “intense public interest.” He felt so strongly that he broke long-established precedent and disregarded strong guidance from the Justice Department with his infamous letter just 11 days before the election. Yet he refused to join the rest of the intelligence community in a statement about the Russian cyberattack because he reportedly didn’t want to appear “political.” And both before and after the election, the FBI has refused to say whether it is investigating Trump’s ties to Russia.

There are now reports that Vladimir Putin personally directed the covert campaign to elect Trump. So are teams of FBI agents busy looking into the reported meeting in Moscow this summer between Carter Page, a Trump foreign policy adviser, and the Putin aide in charge of Russian intelligence on the U.S. election? What about evidence that Roger Stone was in contact with WikiLeaks and knew in advance that my hacked emails were about to be leaked? Are thousands of FBI person-hours being devoted to uncovering Trump’s tangled web of debts and business deals with foreign entities in Russia and elsewhere?

Meanwhile, House Republicans who had an insatiable appetite for investigating Clinton have been resistant to probing deeply into Russia’s efforts to swing the election to Trump. The media, by gleefully publishing the gossipy fruits of Russian hacks, became what the Times itself calls “a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence.”

But the FBI’s role is particularly troubling because of its power and responsibility — and because this is part of a trend. The Justice Department’s Inspector General issued a damning report this summer about the FBI’s failure to prioritize cyberthreats more broadly.

The election is over and the damage is done, but the threat from Russia and other potential aggressors remains urgent and demands a serious and sustained response.

First, the Obama administration should quickly declassify as much as possible concerning what is known about the Russian hack, as requested by seven Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Second, the administration should brief members of the electoral college on the extent and manner of Russia’s interference in our election before they vote on Dec. 19, as requested by a bipartisan group of electors.

Third, Congress should authorize a far-reaching, bipartisan independent investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission. The public deserves to know exactly what happened, why and what can be done to prevent future attacks. Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) have introduced legislation to authorize such an investigation.

Finally, Congress should more vigorously exercise its oversight to determine why the FBI responded overzealously in the Clinton case and insufficiently in the Russian case. The FBI should also clarify whether there is an ongoing investigation into Trump, his associates and their ties to Russia. If ever there were a case of “intense public interest,” this is it. What’s broken in the FBI must be fixed and quickly.

For all the latest, follow our Scheduled Events page and follow Clinton on TwitterFacebookYouTube, and Instagram.

News Source: The Washington Post

The Choice is Clear: Trump is Unfit to be President and Commander-In-Chief

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Americans deserve a president who’s ready on Day One to keep us safe. As a former Secretary of State and senator, Hillary Clinton brings vast experience to the Oval Office, having dealt with the key issues facing Americans around the world for decades. Traveling nearly a million miles as America’s top diplomat, Hillary has handled issues ranging from nuclear proliferation to military readiness, from women’s rights  to climate change, and is ready to lead from day one.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has proven himself again and again to be temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief.

Beyond his lack of understanding of foreign policy and unwillingness to learn, Donald Trump is a loose cannon with dangerous views on major global issues. Trump would encourage the spread of nuclear weapons around the world, has insulted our allies and praised several authoritarian dictators.  He even encouraged a foreign government to hack Americans, and since then has refused to acknowledge the U.S. Intelligence community’s conclusion that the Russian government has done just that.

Americans deserve a president who understands the challenging world in which we live, not one who is too erratic and uninformed to have control of nuclear weapons.

Throughout his career, and throughout this campaign, on subject after subject, Trump has proven he is unfit to be commander-in-chief. As we begin the final week of the presidential campaign, here is a look back at Trump’s dangerous record on matters of defense and foreign policy:

NUCLEAR WEAPONS

On nuclear weapons, Donald Trump has displayed a reckless disregard for fact and fails to understand the dangers of nuclear proliferation. Simply put, he doesn’t have the temperament to be trusted with the nuclear codes.

U.S. MILITARY AND VETERANS

Trump has repeatedly insulted our military, our veterans and their families. He has been disrespecting our veterans for decades, continually proving he’s unqualified and temperamentally unfit to be commander-in-chief.

U.S. INTELLIGENCE

Trump has disparaged the U.S. intelligence community – not only rejecting their conclusions, but questioning their motives.

  • When asked whether he trusts intelligence, Trump said “not so much.”
  • Trump invited a foreign government to commit cyber espionage in the U.S.
  • Trump maintains that we don’t know if Russia is behind recent hacks, despite being personally briefed by Republican Representative Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
  • Trump called the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia was behind that hack was “public relations, frankly” and repeatedly denied their conclusion.
  • Trump has been accused by a former acting CIA director of being “an unwitting agent of Putin.”

AMERICA’S ALLIES

For decades, America has held strong alliances across the world – including those with NATO countries. NATO has stood with the United States, for example, invoking Article 5 after 9/11 and collaborating to fight the war on terror today. But on the campaign trail, Donald Trump has outlined plans to cut off America’s allies.

  • Trump said he would be fine if NATO broke up.
  • Trump accused NATO countries of ripping off the United States, saying “either they have to pay up… or they have to get out. And if it breaks up NATO, it breaks up NATO.”
  • Trump said NATO “may be obsolete” and “doesn’t really help us.”
  • Trump said he might not defend NATO allies against Russian aggression.
  • Trump has extended his threats past NATO to countries like Japan and South Korea.

FOREIGN DICTATORS

Donald Trump seems to have an admiration for dictators from across the world. From Vladimir Putin to Saddam Hussein and beyond, Trump has repeatedly complimented foreign leaders known for their records of oppression and abuse..

  • Trump said North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un deserves “credit” for taking out his rivals and has “got to be pretty smart.”
  • Trump gave Saddam Hussein unduecredit, saying “he did one thing well, he killed terrorists.”
  • Trump believes that, during the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Chinese government showed “strength.”
  • Trump thinks Vladimir Putin is a better leader than President Obama, “saying in terms of leadership, he’s getting an A and our president is not doing so well.” (But of course, his praise for Putin doesn’t stop there.)

FOREIGN BUSINESS ENTANGLEMENTS

Trump’s extensive foreign dealings would present significant conflicts of interest and endanger our national security. Trump refuses to disclose the full extent of his foreign business entanglements – but without knowing the details of them, how will Americans know whose interests Trump is putting first? What we do know is concerning.

  • Trump has extensive global financial dealings.
  • Trump admitted that if his business interests were threatened by another country’s government, he would retaliate with the power of the US government.
  • Trump has a record of business dealings with foreign governments – including Iran and China that we don’t know the extent of.
  • Trump has also had numerous foreign business partners we don’t know much about – including one that is allegedly linked to an international money laundering network.
  • Trump is in debt to foreign institutions for hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Trump’s foreign entanglements would pose unprecedented challenges for U.S. foreign policy and national security.

ISIS

Despite Trump’s claims that he has a “secret” plan to defeat ISIS, he has no real plan at all. And his rhetoric is dangerously playing into terrorists’ hands.

  • Trump would “ask [his] generals” – the very same generals he believes he knows more than – for a plan to defeat ISIS, since he doesn’t currently have any plan at all.
  • Trump would continue to promote Russia’s brutal bombing campaign in Syria that is targeting civilians instead of ISIS.
  • Trump has suggested he would allow Syria to become a “free zone for ISIS.”
  • Trump would ban Muslims from entering the U.S., a policy that feeds radical jihadist propaganda.
  • Trump would engage in torture in the fight against ISIS and kill the families of terrorists.

IRAN

Donald Trump’s approach to Iran is devoid of any substance. He has prefered to denigrate American leaders and spew lies when it comes to Iran — though he was willing to deal with Iran when it made him money.

NORTH KOREA

Trump doesn’t understand the threat North Korea poses. On the campaign trail, Trump has taken positions that would endanger the security of the  United States and our allies and embolden North Korea.

  • Trump would meet with Kim Jong-Un, despite his continued violations of  international obligations to abandon his nuclear and missile programs.
  • Trump would consider cutting off defense support to Japan and South Korea.
  • Trump would open to door to nuclear proliferation in the region. When asked whether it’s “fine” for Japan and South Korea to get nuclear weapons, Trump said, “Can I be honest with you? It’s going to happen anyway.”
  • Trump joked about the prospect of nuclear war between Japan and North Korea, saying “good luck, enjoy yourself folks.”

RUSSIA

While Clinton has stood up to Russia, Trump panders to Putin. He has voiced support for policies and positions that align exactly with the Kremlin’s interests.

SYRIA

To date, Donald Trump has not laid out any real plans with respect to Syria or offered any indication that he takes the conflict and humanitarian disaster seriously.

  • Trump suggested Syria should be a “free zone for ISIS.”
  • Trump raised the possibility of sending 20,000 – 30,000 U.S. ground troops to Syria and Iraq.
  • Trump praised and encouraged Russia’s brutal bombing campaign in Syria, despite the climbing total civilian casualties and attacks on U.S.-backed forces.

Trump peddled lies about Syrian refugees.

For all the latest, follow our Scheduled Events page and follow Clinton on TwitterFacebookYouTube, and Instagram. Also, be sure to subscribe to the campaign’s official Podcast, With Her.

Clinton Campaign Calls for full Disclosure from the FBI

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On Saturday, Hillary for America responded to the revelation that the FBI has found “additional evidence” related to Hillary Clinton’s email with a call for more information from the FBI and Director James Comey. Campaign Chair John Podesta and Manager Robby Mook held a press phone briefing earlier today. A transcript of their comments is below:

CAMPAIGN CHAIR JOHN PODESTA: The extraordinary letter that was long on innuendo and short on facts that Director Comey sent yesterday to eight Republican committee chairs. Twenty-four hours after that letter was sent, we have no real explanation of why Director Comey decided to send that letter to congressional leaders. In fact, the more information that has come out, the more overblown this all seems, and the more concern it creates about Director Comey’s actions. For starters, it seems clear that some of initial characterizations of the FBI’s actions were inaccurate, despite initial reporting that the letter amounted to the quote, unquote, “Reopening of the investigation concluded last July.” It seems that that is not at all the case. That notion was pushed of course was by Congressman Jason Chaffetz.

It is not surprising that Congressman Chaffetz would take the opportunity to distort the facts to mount an attack on Hillary Clinton. This is someone who has promised to launch years of new Hillary Clinton investigations when she is president. Even conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin, and said earlier this week that Chaffetz says undermined his own legitimacy and he was – that he was “obsessed with finding something, anything to hang around Hillary Clinton’s neck.” So while some initially ran with the notion that an investigation was being reopened, those were Chaffetz’s words, not Comey’s, and outlets have already walked back this claim.

But this is exactly the problem that Director Comey has created with sending off his letter just 11 days out from the presidential election. By providing selective information, he has allowed partisans to distort and exaggerate in order to inflict maximum political damage, and no one can separate what is true from what is not because Comey is not been forthcoming with the facts. What little Comey has told us makes it hard to understand why this step has been warranted at all. For instance, he says, quote, “The FBI cannot assess whether or not this material may even be significant,” unquote.

And the reporting that has surfaced in the hour since this letter surfaced create even more confusion why Comey would have raised this on the eve of the election. NBC has reported from law enforcement sources that the emails in question were never withheld by Hillary Clinton or the Clinton campaign. NBC reported that the emails in question did not come from Clinton’s server at all. That has now been corroborated by a slew of other news outlets, and according to the Los Angeles Times, Clinton did not even personally or receive any of the emails in question.

Reports indicate that many of these emails are likely duplicates of ones that have already been turned over and reviewed by the bureau and its investigation last July. It is in fact entirely possible all the emails in question are just that, duplicates. So that is what we have learned from reporting in the wake of Director Comey’s message to congressional leaders. So just to recap and to put this in perspective, there is no evidence of wrong doing, no charge of wrong doing, no indication that this is even about Hillary. In fact, there are reports that the emails they want to look at are duplicates of things they already have and aren’t even from or to Hillary.

Even Director Comey said, “This may not be significant.” If that is all true, it is hard to see how this amounts to anything, and we are not going to be distracted, and Hillary is not going to be distracted in the final days of this election over nothing. But we should not be forced to get this information from second and third hand sources, from leaks, from law enforcement and FBI sources, Director Comey was the one who decided to take this unprecedented step. We now learned against the advice of senior Justice Department officials, who told him it was against long-standing department policy from Democratic and Republican administrations. Director Comey was the one who wrote a letter that was light on facts, heavy on innuendo, knowing full well what Republicans in Congress would do with it. It’s now up to him, who owes the public answers to the questions that are now on the table, and we’re calling on him to come forward and give those answers to the American public. So with that, let me turn it over to our campaign manager, Robby Mook.

CAMPAIGN MANAGER ROBBY MOOK: Well, thank you John, and this is a very concerning situation. As John explained, the more information that comes out, the more overblown this entire situation seems to be. That, in turn, has raised more questions about Director Comey from his colleagues in law enforcement circles to take this extraordinary step 11 days out from the presidential election. Just this morning, there is a startling report in the Washington Post saying that senior Justice Department officials warned Director Comey not to do this and that it was inconsistent with the practices of the department. He was apparently told that “we do not comment on an ongoing investigation, and we don’t take steps that will be viewed as influencing an election,” according to one Justice official who spoke to the Post. As a result of this, Comey has come under considerable pressure from not just Democrats but also Republicans and legal experts alike.

The Washington Post amplifies this point. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Nick Akerman says, “Director Comey acted totally inappropriately. He has no business writing to Congress about supposed new emails that neither he nor anyone in the FBI had ever reviewed. It is not the function of the FBI director to be making public pronouncements about an investigation, never mind about an investigation based on evidence that he acknowledges may not be significant.”

Also former federal prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg said he respects Comey, however, quote, “I don’t understand this idea of dropping this bombshell, which could be a big dud. Doing it in the last week or 10 days of a presidential election without more information, I don’t think that he, I don’t think he should because how does it inform voters? It just invites speculation.” And in addition, former Justice Department spokesperson, Matt Miller, said, “The Justice Department’s long-time, long-standing practice is ‘don’t do anything seen as trying to influence an election.’ That’s usually interpreted as 60 days, let alone 11. It’s completely unfair to Secretary Clinton, and it’s really unfair to the voters. There’s no reason he had to send this letter.”

And finally, according to reports, Attorney General Loretta Lynch “expressed her preference that Comey follow the department’s long-standing practice of not commenting on ongoing investigations and not taking any action that could influence the outcome of an election,” but he said he felt compelled to do otherwise. So as John said, “It’s now incumbent on Director Comey to immediately provide the American people with more information than what is contained in his letter.” He owes the public the whole story, or else he shouldn’t have cracked open this door in the first place. Both campaigns and leaders in both parties of Congress are in full agreement on this fact.

And the last thing I’d say before I turn it back to Brian is that based on the anecdotes I’m hearing from our team on the ground, this situation has created an urgency, an intensity among our volunteers and activists that was already high because we are so close to the election but that our volunteers are rallying behind Hillary. They know what a fighter she is. I think they were heartened that she came out and addressed this so forthrightly, that she is calling for the full story to be told. And they’re as upset and concerned as we are here, and they are turning out, not only to have her back but to rally our supporters to turn out and vote as early voting goes into full swing. And we’re not just seeing this in our offices on the ground, but also in our, in our online, in the online space as well. And the, I think this is, we already had momentum and wind behind our back going into yesterday. I think this has only increased the momentum that we’re feeling among our activists on the ground.

In addition, HFA released two briefs featuring articles and coverage from the press showing that as more details have been released, the less significant the evidence appears. The releases are below:

Comey Under Fire After Sending Unprecedented Letter

FBI Director James Comey is under widespread criticism for breaking department precedent by commenting on an ongoing investigation, and doing so just days before a presidential election. Indeed, the Washington Post reported this morning senior Justice Department officials made perfectly clear to Comey that he would be in violation of long-standing DOJ policy.

Moreover, according to CNN, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates both objected to Comey sending this inappropriate letter to Congress. Nevertheless, Director Comey independently decided to move forward, rattling the presidential election with a note that was heavy on innuendo and extremely light on actual information or needed details.

The result? Broad bipartisan condemnation and demands for the swift disclosure of more information:

Washington Post: Justice officials warned FBI that Comey’s decision to update Congress was not consistent with department policy: “Senior Justice Department officials warned the FBI that Director James B. Comey’s decision to notify Congress about renewing the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server was not consistent with long-standing practices of the department, according to officials familiar with the discussions. Comey told Justice Department officials that he intended to inform lawmakers of newly discovered emails. These officials told him the department’s position “that we don’t comment on an ongoing investigation. And we don’t take steps that will be viewed as influencing an election,” said one Justice Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the high-level conversations.”

CNN: Comey notified Congress of email probe despite DOJ concerns: “Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates objected to FBI Director James Comey’s decision to notify Congress about his bureau’s review of emails related to Hillary Clinton’s personal server, law enforcement officials familiar with the discussion said. Comey decided to disregard their objections and sent the letter Friday anyway, shaking the presidential race 11 days before the election and nearly four months after the FBI chief said he wouldn’t recommend criminal charges over the Democratic nominee’s use of the server.

New York Times: Justice Dept. Strongly Discouraged Comey on Move in Clinton Email Case: “Mr. Comey’s letter opened him up to criticism not only from Democrats but also from current and former officials at the F.B.I. and the Justice Department, including Republicans. ‘There’s a longstanding policy of not doing anything that could influence an election,’ said George J. Terwilliger III, a deputy attorney general under the first President George Bush. ‘Those guidelines exist for a reason. Sometimes that makes for hard decisions. But bypassing them has consequences.’”

Politico: Comey’s disclosure shocks former prosecutors: “James Comey’s surprise announcement that investigators are examining new evidence in the probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server put the FBI director back under a harsh spotlight, reigniting criticism of his unusual decision to discuss the high-profile case in front of the media and two congressional committees.”

Los Angeles Times: “The emails were not to or from Clinton, and contained information that appeared to be more of what agents had already uncovered, the official said, but in an abundance of caution, they felt they needed to further scrutinize them.

Washington Post Editorial: The damage Comey’s bad timing could do: “Mr. Podesta said he is ‘confident’ full disclosure ‘will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July.’ If so, the question will be how badly damaged was Ms. Clinton’s candidacy by the 11th-hour re-eruption of a controversy that never should have generated so much suspicion or accusation in the first place.”

New York Times Editorial: “But Mr. Comey’s failure to provide any specifics about a new, potentially important development, less than two weeks before Election Day, is confounding. As Mr. Comey put it in July: “The American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest.” They deserve details even more urgently today.”

Bloomberg: FBI Shocker on Clinton Fuels Criticism of Comey’s Tactics: “FBI Director James Comey is facing extraordinary pressure to explain himself after dropping a bombshell on the campaign of Hillary Clinton just 11 days before the presidential election… Former prosecutors and lawmakers from both parties expressed shock and dismay at Comey’s highly unusual decision, which flouted decades of legal custom that call for avoiding taking actions that could affect the outcome of an election.”

Washington Post: FBI Director James B. Comey under fire for his controversial decision on the Clinton email inquiry: “Nick Ackerman, a former federal prosecutor in New York and an assistant special Watergate prosecutor, said Comey ‘had no business writing to Congress about supposed new emails that neither he nor anyone in the FBI has ever reviewed.’”

Huffington Post: News Outlets Dial Back Reports Of FBI ‘Reopening’ Clinton Email Case: “The story took several other turns on Friday afternoon that complicated the early, screaming headlines, and then ensured the story would remain a topic of discussion in the days ahead. Multiple outlets subsequently reported that the new emails weren’t sent by Clinton and didn’t come from her private server.”

CNN Legal Analyst, Paul Callan: Time for FBI director Comey to go: “Comey’s public announcement in July that the FBI had concluded its investigation regarding Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in the conduct of official State Department business and would not recommend the lodging of criminal charges was historically unprecedented in a high-profile political case.”

Washington Post Op-Ed by Former DOJ Spokesman Matt Miller: James Comey fails to follow Justice Department rules yet again: “With each step, Comey moved further away from department guidelines and precedents, culminating in Friday’s letter to Congress. This letter not only violated Justice rules on commenting on ongoing investigations but also flew in the face of years of precedent about how to handle sensitive cases as Election Day nears…. The director of the FBI has great power at his disposal…. With that independence comes a responsibility to adhere to the rules that protect the rights of those whom the FBI investigates. Comey has failed that standard repeatedly in his handling of the Clinton investigation.”

New York Times: F.B.I. Chief James Comey Is in Political Crossfire Again Over Emails: “The reaction was swift and damning, with Mrs. Clinton’s supporters and even some Republicans blasting Mr. Comey. Indeed, Mr. Comey, who was attacked this summer by Democrats and Republicans for both his decision not to bring charges against Mrs. Clinton and for the way he handled it, found himself in an even stronger crossfire on Friday.”

Los Angeles Times’ Michael McGough: FBI director should have known what his Clinton emails letter would unleash: “Having raised new doubts about Clinton so close to an election, Comey has an obligation —a moral obligation if not a legal one — to do everything he can to expedite the “additional work” required to determine whether this new information does, in fact, cast doubt on his earlier conclusion that Clinton wasn’t criminally culpable.”

Aurora Sentinel Editorial: FBI’s Comey needs to come clean on details, motivation — or resign: “If there’s damning or critical information about Clinton staff handling of email that creates the clear and immediate threat to national security that would warrant such a ploy, Americans deserve to have Clinton explain them, and Clinton must get that opportunity. Otherwise, Comey needs to apologize for his infelicity and possibly politically motivated stunt, and immediately step aside.”

Newsweek: Hillary Clinton’s Emails: The Real Reason The FBI Is Reviewing More Of Them: “Unfortunately, by trying to have things both ways – revealing the change in circumstances while remaining vague about what the agents know – Comey has created that misleading impression that could change the outcome of a presidential election, an act that, if uncorrected, will undoubtedly go down as one of the darkest moments in the bureau’s history.”

New Yorker: James Comey Broke With Loretta Lynch And Justice Department Tradition: “Coming less than two weeks before the Presidential election, Comey’s decision to make public new evidence that may raise additional legal questions about Clinton was contrary to the views of the Attorney General, according to a well-informed Administration official. Lynch expressed her preference that Comey follow the department’s longstanding practice of not commenting on ongoing investigations, and not taking any action that could influence the outcome of an election, but he said that he felt compelled to do otherwise.”

Charlotte Observer Editorial: Comey drops Hillary Clinton email bombshell; so tell us more: “But it is extraordinary for such volatile information to emerge so close to Election Day and that’s especially true given how few specifics are known. Because Comey was so vague, voters can’t know what to think. The new emails could be anything from meaningless to evidence of criminal activity by Clinton to most anything in between.”

ThinkProgress: The ‘new’ Clinton emails might all be duplicates: “So, to be clear, the FBI Director delivered a gut punch to the Clinton campaign, despite the fact that 1) he doesn’t know what he has; 2) it may be something that he already had; and, 3) whatever it is that he has, it reportedly didn’t come from Secretary Clinton, and was not sent to her.”

Huffington Post: Heat Rises For FBI Director James Comey As Both Campaigns Demand Email Answers: “Both camps demanded that FBI Director James Comey disclose more details about the emails and the bureau’s investigation, which he made known in a letter to Congress just 11 days before the election…. Many challenged the FBI director’s motives, increasing the pressure on him to comply with calls from both campaigns for more information.”

Once Again, “Bombshell” Clinton Revelation Fizzles As Facts Come Out

Yesterday, Republican Congressional leaders leaked an unprecedented letter from FBI Director James Comey, with initial reports including dire headlines for Hillary Clinton. But like most “bombshell” discoveries about Clinton over the course of this campaign, it fizzled rapidly as facts actually became available. Let’s review…

YESTERDAY’S BOMBSHELL: NBC News: FBI re-opening investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server

  • Jason Chaffetz: “FBI Dir just informed me, ‘The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.’ Case reopened”
  • GOP: “BREAKING NEWS: The FBI is re-opening their investigation into @HillaryClinton’s secret server.”

…facts emerge:

  1.  Investigation not reopened. Huffington Post: News Outlets Dial Back Reports Of FBI ‘Reopening’ Hillary Clinton Email Case
  2. No emails had been withheld. NBC News: “the e-mails Comey announced today were NOT originally withheld by Clinton or campaign.”
  3. Emils not from Clinton’s server. Bloomberg: New Clinton E-mails Not From Her Private Server, AP Says
  4. Emails reportedly not to or from Clinton. Los Angeles Times: “The emails were not to or from Clinton”
  5. No indication emails bear significance. Comey memo to employees: “we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails”
  6. Many emails likely duplicates of ones already turned over. ThinkProgress: The ‘new’ Clinton emails might all be duplicates
  7. Comey letter violates DOJ policy. Washington Post: Justice officials warned FBI that Comey’s decision to update Congress was not consistent with department policy
  8. Comey overruled AG Loretta Lynch. CNN: “Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates disagreed with FBI Director James Comey’s decision to notify Congress about his bureau’s review…”
  9. Former officials on both sides of aisle criticized Comey. New York Times: “Mr. Comey’s letter opened him up to criticism not only from Democrats but also from current and former officials at the F.B.I. and the Justice Department, including Republicans.”
  10.  Clinton and Trump both calling for more information. Huffington Post: “Both camps demanded that FBI Director James Comey disclose more details about the emails and the bureau’s investigation”

This is hardly the first time. It seems the script is always the same:

  1. Bombshell allegation is made hastily without facts available
  2. Media breathlessly covers the latest supposed Clinton Scandal
  3. Republicans declare that this time they’ve found the smoking gun
  4. Initial explosive reports slowly fizzle on account of facts

Here are just five of the many recent examples:

BOMBSHELL: @GOP, 8/30/16: “BREAKING: State Dept discovered 30 emails recovered from Hillary Clinton’s private server that discussed Benghazi.”

…facts emerge: Los Angeles Times, 9/7/16: “There appears to be only one new communication related to Benghazi… a complimentary note from a diplomat to Clinton, praising how she handled herself before a Senate panel investigating the matter.”

BOMBSHELL: @GOP, 5/5/16: “Hacker ‘Guccifer’ told news outlets that he repeatedly accessed Clinton’s unsecure email server & that ‘it was easy’”

…facts emerge: FOX News, 7/7/16: Comey: Hacker ‘Guccifer’ Lied About Accessing Clinton’s Emails

BOMBSHELL: @AP, 8/23/16: “BREAKING: AP analysis: More than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation.”

…facts emerge: Vox, 8/24/16: “Except it turns out not to be true. The nut fact that the AP uses to lead its coverage is wrong, and Braun and Sullivan’s reporting reveals absolutely no unethical conduct….  the AP excluded from the denominator all employees of any government, whether US or foreign.”

BOMBSHELL: Washington Post, 8/22/16: The FBI found 15,000 emails Hillary Clinton didn’t turn over. Uh oh.

…facts emerge: CNN, 10/7/16: “Okay, so what’s in this latest batch? Short answer: No bombshells. More than half of the emails are these so-called “near duplicates” of previously released emails… There are also a number of emails between Clinton and her close aides in which they discuss scheduling matters — timing for phone calls, meetings, etc…. None of the new emails contained information marked as classified or upgraded to classified.”

BOMBSHELL: The Hill, 7/5/16: FBI director: Clinton emails were marked as classified at the time

…facts emerge: MediaIte, 7/7/16: FBI Director Admits Hillary Clinton Emails Were Not Properly Marked Classified

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FBI Announces it is Reopening Clinton Email Investigation

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Scroll down for updates.

On Friday, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to a Congressional Judiciary Committee explaining that the FBI had decided to reopen the case investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. The three page letter did not go into much detail which lead the Clinton campaign to respond. Campaign Chair John Podesta released a statement calling on Comey and the FBI to release more information surrounding their reasoning considering the election is less than two weeks away. The statement from Podesta is below.

“Upon completing this investigation more than three months ago, FBI Director Comey declared no reasonable prosecutor would move forward with a case like this and added that it was not even a close call. In the months since, Donald Trump and his Republican allies have been baselessly second-guessing the FBI and, in both public and private, browbeating the career officials there to revisit their conclusion in a desperate attempt to harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

FBI Director Comey should immediately provide the American public more information than is contained in the letter he sent to eight Republican committee chairmen. Already, we have seen characterizations that the FBI is ‘reopening’ an investigation but Comey’s words do not match that characterization. Director Comey’s letter refers to emails that have come to light in an unrelated case, but we have no idea what those emails are and the Director himself notes they may not even be significant.

It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election.

The Director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining. We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July.”

The FBI did elaborate later in the day saying that additional evidence related to the Clinton investigation was discovered on a laptop seized during the investigation of Rep. Anthony Weiner. FBI officials said that the bureau will investigate the newly discovered emails on the laptop and that it is possible that the emails could be duplicates of ones previously turned over by the Clinton camp. State Department officials said they have not been made aware of the FBI’s new evidence. More details are likely to be released in the coming weeks, but the news of a reopened investigation could affect Clinton at the polls.

Read the letter from Comey to Congress below (download the letter HERE).

UPDATE (10/28): Following an event in Des Moines, Iowa, Hillary Clinton spoke at a press event and addressed the issues of the FBI reopening its investigation. Clinton said that the FBI needs to release additional details regarding its investigation with the election being less than two weeks away. “Voting is underway, so the American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately,” she said. She said that she was confident that nothing new would be found and that she did not know what new evidence the FBI might be referring to adding, “Right now, your guess is as good as mine, and I don’t think that’s good enough.” A video of Clinton’s statement is below.

UPDATE (10/29): The Washington Post obtained a copy of an internal memo sent by FBI director James Comey to FBI employees. In the letter, he briefly explains his reasoning for taking the early details of an investigation to Congress. Read the letter below:

To all:

This morning I sent a letter to Congress in connection with the Secretary Clinton email investigation.  Yesterday, the investigative team briefed me on their recommendation with respect to seeking access to emails that have recently been found in an unrelated case.  Because those emails appear to be pertinent to our investigation, I agreed that we should take appropriate steps to obtain and review them.

Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed. I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record.  At the same time, however, given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression.  In trying to strike that balance, in a brief letter and in the middle of an election season, there is significant risk of being misunderstood, but I wanted you to hear directly from me about it.

Jim Comey

UPDATE (10/29): Hillary for America responded to the news with several press releases and a post on Medium from campaign chair John Podesta.

UPDATE (10/30): The FBI announced that it obtained a warrant to search the emails found on a laptop belonging to former Congressman Anthony Weiner. While it is unclear how many emails on the laptop, if any, are relevant to the Hillary Clinton email investigation, an official revealed that there are over 650,000 emails on the computer. It is likely that the majority belong to the former Congressman, but his wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, also used the laptop. FBI officials also revealed today that several lower level investigators knew the emails existed weeks ago, but only recently brought them to the attend of Director James Comey. It is also unclear why a warrant was received after Comey briefed Congress of the investigation on Friday.

Hillary for America campaign chair John Podesta and campaign manager Robby Mook have been on the defensive since the revelations were announced. The campaign released a video about the facts of the case and calling for more details to be released considering the timing. The video released by The Briefing is below.

UPDATE (10/31): Former Attorney General Eric Holder wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in which he called FBI director James Comey “a good man,” but said that he made a mistake by telling Congress about evidence that may have nothing to do with the Hillary Clinton email case. In the editorial, Holder says, “The department has a practice of not commenting on ongoing investigations. Indeed, except in exceptional circumstances, the department will not even acknowledge the existence of an investigation. The department also has a policy of not taking unnecessary action close in time to Election Day that might influence an election’s outcome. These rules have been followed during Republican and Democratic administrations. They aren’t designed to help any particular individual or to serve any political interest. Instead, they are intended to ensure that every investigation proceeds fairly and judiciously; to maintain the public trust in the department’s ability to do its job free of political influence; and to prevent investigations from unfairly or unintentionally casting public suspicion on public officials who have done nothing wrong.” Read the full editorial HERE.

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News Source: The Washington Post, The New York Times, ABC News, Politico, CNN, MSNBC, Medium, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Post

Six Key Developments Today On Trump, WikiLeaks, And Russia

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Hillary for America Senior Policy Advisor Jake Sullivan released the following statement today after news reports by Esquire and Motherboard confirmed for the first time publicly that Russia is behind the hack of John Podesta’s emails. Also, according to Esquire, Guccifer told journalists that he gave the DNC emails to WikiLeaks:

“The new public data confirming the Russians are behind the hack of John Podesta’s email is a big deal. There is no longer any doubt that Putin is trying to help Donald Trump by weaponizing WikiLeaks. Despite all the evidence, including the conclusions of the US intelligence community, Donald Trump went on the debate stage and acted as Putin’s puppet, defending Russia and refusing to admit and condemn the Kremlin’s actions. This behavior has gone from bizarre to disqualifying. In light of his associate’s admitted ‘back-channeling’ with Assange, and Trump’s own undisclosed business ties with Russia, it’s time for Trump to tell the American people what he knew about these hacks and when he knew it.”

According to Esquire:

“In the weeks that followed, Guccifer offered interviews and batches of documents to several journalists, but he wrote that “the main part of the papers, thousands of files and mails, I gave to WikiLeaks.”

“So far U. S. investigators have not said publicly who was responsible for the Podesta hack, but the data harvested by SecureWorks makes it clear that Fancy Bear broke into the Clinton chairman’s account as early as late March. The CIA briefed Trump about the origin of the kompromat, but he continued to cite the material, telling a Pennsylvania crowd, “I love WikiLeaks!”

According to Motherboard:

Months later, on October 9, WikiLeaks began publishing thousands of Podesta’s hacked emails. Almost everyone immediately pointed the finger at Russia, who is suspected of being behind a long and sophisticated hacking campaign that has the apparent goal of influencing the upcoming US elections. But there was no public evidence proving the same group that targeted the Democratic National Committee was behind the hack on Podesta—until now.

The data linking a group of Russian hackers—known as Fancy Bear, APT28, or Sofacy—to the hack on Podesta is also yet another piece in a growing heap of evidence pointing toward the Kremlin. And it also shows a clear thread between apparently separate and independent leaks that have appeared on a website called DC Leaks, such as that of Colin Powell’s emails; and the Podesta leak, which was publicized on WikiLeaks.

Six Key Developments Today On Trump, WikiLeaks, And Russia

  1. Esquire published a deep dive on the full extent of Russia’s unprecedented hacking campaign to influence the U.S. election, including new details about the operation.
  1. Motherboard confirmed that government-backed Russian hackers were behind the cyberattack on John Podesta’s emails, publicly detailing new, undeniable evidence.
  1. Politico documented Trump’s haunting propensity for defending Putin’s crimes. Beyond the cyberattacks, Trump defended Putin in the killing of journalists, the assassination of a former Russian spy, and the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.
  1. Dallas Morning News reported that Trump had been personally briefed by House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul that Russia was behind these cyberattacks before he debate, in which he again denied their culpability.
  1. Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on MSNBC this morning that she was completely comfortable with the campaign exploiting documents that were stolen by Russian agents.
  1. Former director of the NSA and CIA, Michael Hayden, told NBC News: “[Trump] reject[ed] a high confidence judgment from the American intelligence community that the Russians are breaking in to DNC emails. That’s troubling on two counts. First, what will it take for him to criticize Russia? And second, here is a man who would be president, rejecting an intelligence judgment because it is politically inconvenient.”

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Hillary’s Plan: Debt and Entitlements

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Clinton Will Fight For Medicare & Social Security, Pay For Her Plans; Trump Will Risk These Programs & Add Trillions To Debt

Tonight, voters will hear from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on six topics of national importance: debt and entitlements, immigration, economy, the Supreme Court, foreign policy, and the fitness of the candidates to serve as president.

Clinton has stood up for Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid her entire career, and she will not stop now.  She will ensure the wealthy, Wall Street, and big corporations pay their fair share, invest in middle-class families, and defend and expand Medicare and Social Security.  Furthermore, her new plans are paid for, so they will not add to the national debt.

Conversely, Trump’s plans will add $21 trillion to the national debt over 20 years and give reckless tax cuts to the wealthy instead of investing in Medicare and Social Security for generations to come.

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Hillary’s vision on fiscal matters is clear. As she has said before, “We know what sound fiscal policy looks like and it sure isn’t running up massive debts to pay for giveaways to the rich. And it is not painful austerity that hurts working families and undercuts our long-term progress. It’s being strong, stable, and making smart investments in our future. So let’s set the right priorities and pay for them, so we can hand our children a healthier economy and a better future.”

Hillary has put forward credible plans to pay for her proposals without adding to the national debt.  As president, Hillary will:

  • Continue to put forth plans that add up, are paid for, and will not add to the national debt. As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said recently, “We are encouraged that Clinton continues to largely pay for her new spending…”
  • Restore fairness to the tax code and make sure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. The independent, non-partisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center found that around 2/3rds of the revenue from Hillary’s tax plan came from the top 0.1%, earning more than $3.7 million per year.
  • NYT: “Mrs. Clinton would substantially raise taxes on high-income taxpayers, mostly on the top 1 percent; … reduce taxes on average for middle- and low-income households; and overhaul corporate taxes. Her plan would increase federal revenue $1.4 trillion over the first decade….Mrs. Clinton would use the money to pay for education and other initiatives.”
  • Hillary has a responsible, progressive fiscal vision. Progressive policies such as investing in growth and the middle class, and asking the wealthy to pay their fair share – not trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy, have been successful. For example, President Bill Clinton took a $300 billion deficit in the year before he took office and turned it into a $200 billion surplus.

Hillary believes seniors have paid into Social Security for a lifetime, and they’ve earned these benefits when they retire. Social Security isn’t just a program—it’s a promise.  As president, Hillary will:

  • Defend Social Security against Republican attacks and attempts to privatize the program – and refuse to embrace proposals to raise the retirement age or reduce cost-of-living adjustments
  • Expand Social Security for those who need it most and who are treated unfairly by the current system—including women who are widows and those who took significant time out of the paid workforce to take care of their children, aging parents, or ailing family members.
  • Preserve Social Security for decades to come by asking the wealthiest to contribute more.

Hillary believes Medicare and Medicaid are the bedrock of health care coverage for more than 50 million Americans, from seniors to people with disabilities.  As president, Hillary will:

  • Fight to preserve Medicare benefits for Americans – and stand strongly against Republican attempts to “phase out” or privatize Medicare.
  • Require drug manufacturers to provide rebates for low-income Medicare enrollees that are equivalent to rebates in the Medicaid program through her prescription drug plan.
  • Reduce the cost of prescription drugs for seniors by allowing Medicare to use its leverage with more than 40 million enrollees to negotiate drug and biologic prices.
  • Tackle rising medical costs by expanding value-based delivery system reform in Medicare.
  • Help protect consumers from unjustified price hikes for long-available drugs.
  • Ensure we expand Medicaid in the states where Republican governors and legislatures have refused to do so.

Donald Trump may have abused the tax system to avoid paying taxes into Social Security and Medicare – Hillary Clinton would help end this practice. Based on what we do know about Donald Trump’s tax returns, independent experts at the Tax Policy Center believe that Trump may have avoided paying his fair share in taxes into Social Security and Medicare by abusively taking advantage of the so-called “Gingrich-Edwards” loophole. This loophole allows some high-income business people to funnel their wages through a business.  While the law still requires these business owners to pay payroll taxes on a reasonable portion of compensation, Trump may have flouted this legal requirement and avoided paying his fair share in payroll taxes that support programs like Social Security and Medicare. Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton embraced a proposal from President Obama’s budget that would end such abuses and crack down on tax gaming by high-income individuals through shifting business income, including addressing the so-called “Gingrich-Edwards” loophole.

Donald Trump’s tax plan would increase the debt by $21 trillion over 20 years to give tax cuts to the rich, and he has recklessly considered defaulting on the national debt.

  • Trump infamously called himself the “king of debt” and has proposed a tax plan that would increase our national debt by 21 trillion over 20 years – with more than half of the benefits going to the top 1%.
  • Trump displayed his willingness to play Russian roulette with the full faith and credit of the U.S., suggesting recently that “you could make the case” for defaulting on the debt, or maybe we could just “make a deal.” Defaulting on our debt would undermine more than 200 years of confidence in the American economy, and could cause a global financial crisis.

Paying for Donald Trump’s tax cuts for the rich could require cutting Medicare and Social Security by trillions:

  • As an analysis by CAP Action explains, “Trump says his agenda ‘will be completely paid-for,’ but paying for his tax plan would require cutting federal spending by an average of approximately 13.5 percent. In the next 10 years, an across-the-board cut of 13.5 percent would mean cutting Social Security by $1.7 trillion and cutting Medicare by $1.1 trillion.”

Trump is willing to jeopardize Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which he once called a Ponzi scheme.

Trump’s plan to block grant Medicaid could cause millions of low-income adults and people with disabilities to lose or see lower benefits.

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HFA Statement on Trump’s Comments on Meeting with Putin

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Hillary for America Senior National Spokesperson Glen Caplin released the following statement today after Donald Trump’s comments saying he, “Could see myself meeting with Putin and meeting with Russia prior to the start of the administration.”

“It’s unclear why Donald Trump needs to meet with Vladimir Putin on November 9th since he’s already repeating all his talking points, pushing his policy agenda and taking advantage of his espionage operation. Rest assured that as president, Hillary Clinton will stand up to Putin in the face of his unacceptable behavior, not coddle him.”

Hillary for America previously released a new video cataloguing Trump’s disturbing connections to Russia and why they are so concerning. Watch it here.

The campaign also recently released a Medium post on the Russian hack that Donald Trump refuses to admit or condemn laying out an important question that voters deserve to know – “What did Trump know, and when did he know it?” Read it here.

Here are 15 facts you should know about Donald Trump, WikiLeaks and Russia:

1) The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that top Kremlin officials are behind the hack of the DNC and other Democratic organizations to influence the elections – and named WikiLeaks as part of their effort.

  • Washington Post: “Intelligence officials have identified WikiLeaks and other sites as among those receiving or publishing information from Russian intelligence, a claim that Assange has dismissed in the past.

2) According to the Wall Street Journal, “FBI Suspects Russia in Hack of John Podesta Emails”– top Russian officials meanwhile shifted away from denying a role in separate hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

3) Long time Trump campaign associate Roger Stone says he is in contact with Julian Assange. Stone unwittingly admitted the Russians are the source for WikiLeaks when he said, “The DNC heist documents…were hacked and first made public by Guccifer 2.0, almost a month ago, and when that did not get the appropriate traction, he took them to WikiLeaks who then leaked them.”  Stone also seemed to predict Podesta’s emails would be released as far back as August, suggesting possible collusion.

4) According to reports, “several current and former officials who have worked in the Justice Department, FBI and intelligence community said they have little doubt federal law enforcement is looking into the different questions surrounding the different current and one-time Trump campaign operatives.

5) Julian Assange’s own ties to the Kremlin are extensive and well-documented:

  • Assange hosted a talk show on Putin’s propaganda network, RT.
  • A recent New York Times examination of Assange’s time in exile found that WikiLeaks’ activities have consistently benefitted Putin’s Russia at the expense of America and our allies.
  • National security experts have criticized Assange and WikiLeaks for doing Putin’s bidding by releasing documents obtained by Russian hackers:
    • Defense One: How Putin Weaponized Wikileaks to Influence the Election of an American President: “Considerable evidence shows that the Wikileaks dump was an orchestrated act by the Russian government, working through proxies, to undermine Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign.”
  • Former NSA analyst and counterintelligence officer, John Schindler: “Russian hackers working for the Kremlin cyber-pilfered the DNC then passed the purloined data, including thousands of unflattering emails, to Wikileaks, which has shown them to the world. This, of course, means that Wikileaks is doing Moscow’s bidding and has placed itself in bed with Vladimir Putin.”
  • National Security expert Michael Weiss: “In a bizarre mind-meld that could only happen today, the WikiLeaks founder is refusing to say whether he got the hacked DNC emails from Russia, and Trump is defending Putin.”

6) Trump was reportedly briefed by U.S. intelligence officials before the last debate that Russian intelligence services were behind the hacks. Despite that information, Trump stood on the debate stage and claimed to 80 million Americans that it could be anyone including someone “sitting in their bed who weighs 400 pounds.” Why?

  • NBC News: “A senior U.S. intelligence official assured NBC News that cybersecurity and the Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election have been briefed to, and discussed extensively with, both parties’ candidates, surrogates and leadership, since mid-August. ‘To profess not to know at this point is willful misrepresentation,’ said the official. ‘The intelligence community has walked a very thin line in not taking sides, but both candidates have all the information they need to be crystal clear.’”
  • WaPo: Headline: “Trump refusal to accept government assessments on Russian hacks dismays former officials”
    • “The former officials, who have served presidents in both parties, say they were bewildered when Trump cast doubt on Russia’s role after receiving a classified briefing on the subject and again after an unusually blunt statement from U.S. agencies saying they were “confident” that Moscow had orchestrated the attacks.”

7) Donald Trump himself encouraged Russian hackers to spy MORE on Hillary Clinton: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said. “I think you’ll be rewarded mightily by our press!”

8) Trump’s business interests in Russia run deep…and present HUGE conflicts of interest. Because Donald Trump won’t release his taxes, the full extent of his Russian business interests that could conflict with American national security interests is largely unknown. But just some of the recent headlines have revealed hundreds of millions of dollars related to Russian business interests; connections to business groups with ties to the Kremlin like Bayrock; business dealings with alleged Russian mobster Felix Sater and a 30-year history of pursuing business with Russia including the Miss Universe pageant. Trump’s son has said that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section” of the Trump Organization’s assets and that “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

9) Trump’s policies are concerning experts because they align closely with Putin’s agenda, contrary to American interests.

  • Op-ed by Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul: “Putin has rational motives for wanting Trump to win: Trump champions many foreign policies that Putin supports. Trump’s most shocking, pro-Kremlin proposal is to “look into” recognition of Crimea as a part of Russia…. Trump has demanded that other NATO members essentially pay us for protection… Trump has also disparaged our allies in Asia, creating new opportunities for Russian influence…. On the whole, Trump advocates isolationist policies and an abdication of U.S. leadership in the world. He cares little about promoting democracy and human rights. A U.S. retreat from global affairs fits precisely with Putin’s international interests.”
  • Vox: Trump’s policies are objectively pro-Russia. “Nothing Russia could do, on its own, would help its foreign policy more than what Trump is proposing. He is literally suggesting the United States transform global politics to make it more favorable to Russian interests.”
  • Slate: Putin’s Puppet: If the Russian president could design a candidate to undermine American interests—and advance his own—he’d look a lot like Donald Trump. “Donald Trump is like the Kremlin’s favored candidates, only more so. He celebrated the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU. He denounces NATO with feeling. He is also a great admirer of Vladimir Putin.”
  • Politifact: “Trumps [sic] comments on backing away from NATO, supporting Russia on the Ukraine and rethinking sanctions against Russia certainly qualify as statements that dovetail with what the Putin administration would like.”

10) Former Acting CIA Director Michael Morrell has concluded, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

11) The Trump campaign’s ties to Russia are deeply disturbing.

  • One-time Foreign Policy Adviser Carter Page is being probed by U.S. intelligence agencies for meeting with sanctioned Kremlin officials including Igor Diveykin. “A former Russian security official, Diveykin now serves as deputy chief for internal policy and is believed by U.S. officials to have responsibility for intelligence collected by Russian agencies about the U.S. election, the Western intelligence source said.”
    • The Trump campaign lied about Page having “never been a part of our campaign. Period” to cover up his involvement.  In fact, Trump announced Page himself to Washington Post editorial board back in March 2016 as one of his foreign policy advisers, which was confirmed by Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks to CNN.
  • Campaign Chair Paul Manafort was forced to resign after the New York Times revealed, “Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012…Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.”
  • Gen. Michael Flynn, the adviser who joined Trump for his classified intelligence briefing, has been paid by Kremlin-run RT and sat two seats down from Putin at the outlet’s 10th anniversary gala. “The presence of such an important figure at Putin’s table startled current and former members of the Obama administration. ‘It was extremely odd that he showed up in a tuxedo to the Russian government propaganda arm’s party,’ one former Pentagon official told me. Like Trump, Flynn has advocated forging closer ties with Russia.”
  • Mike McSherry, an aide who helped lead Trump’s convention strategy, worked alongside Manafort and Gates to lobby for Putin puppet Yanukovych.
  • Howard Lorber, a Trump economic adviser, traveled with Trump to Moscow in the 1990s seeking real estate deals. Lorber was just the the “latest in a long list of relationships that give Trump a financial stake in warm U.S.-Russian relations.”
  • Boris Epshteyn, a senior Trump adviser and surrogate, moderated a 2013 forum at the “Invest In Moscow!” Conference and has echoed Kremlin talking points on TV. As a surrogate for Donald Trump’s campaign he argued that Russia has not seized Crimea from Ukraine, even though Vladimir Putin seized the region more than two years ago. While discussing the GOP nominee’s recent remarks about Putin on CNN Sunday, campaign surrogate Boris Epshteyn said, “First of all, Russia did not seize Crimea.”
  • Richard Burt, who has been an adviser to Trump and helped write his first major foreign policy speech, has deep ties to Russia as well. Burt sits on the board of directors for the US-Russia Business Council, formerly sat on the senior advisory board of Russia’s Alfa Bank, and has argued againstS. sanctions on Russia.
  • Michael Caputo, a former top Trump adviser who also recently resigned, had a contract with Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media in 2000 to improve Putin’s image in the United States.

12) Trump allies, WikiLeaks and Russia pushed a nonsensical conspiracy theory about the DNC hacks. “Trump campaign surrogates are fueling a conspiracy theory that a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer was connected to the hacking of the DNC, a theory being pushed by WikiLeaks and the Russian state-controlled press. Some experts have gone as far as to say that Putin is explicitly using Trump to further his agenda.”

13) Even top Republicans have raised serious concerns about Trump’s relationship with Putin’s Russia. 50 G.O.P officials warned that Donald Trump would put the nation’s security at risk: “They viewed Mr. Trump’s comments on NATO as an abandonment of America’s most significant alliance relationship. Mr. Trump has said throughout his campaign that he intends to upend Republican foreign policy orthodoxy on everything from trade to Russia, where he has been complimentary of President Vladimir V. Putin, saying nothing about its crackdown on human rights and little about its annexation of Crimea.”

  • 14) Top Democrats on four House committees that oversee national security on Friday called on the FBI to investigate Donald Trump’s purported ties to the Russian government and its alleged hacking of Democratic groups and operatives.

15) Trump has praised Putin for a decade, and Putin has returned the favor.

  • Trump, 2007: “[Putin’s] doing a great job. In rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period. Forget about image.”
  • Trump, 2011: “I often speak highly [of Putin] for his intelligence and no-nonsense way…. Putin has also announced his grand vision: the creation of a ‘Eurasian Union’ made up of former Soviet nations that can dominate the region. I respect Putin…”
  • Trump, 2013, on Putin’s NYT op-ed denouncing American exceptionalism: “I thought he did an amazing job…. He’s making him look like a — he’s the professor and the President is a school child… He really becomes with this letter, almost, the world leader”
  • Trump, 2013: “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?”
  • Washington Post on Trump’s 2013 Miss Universe Contest in Moscow: “Putin canceled at the last minute, but he sent a decorative lacquered box, a traditional Russian gift, and a warm note”
  • Trump, 2014: “Putin has become a big hero in Russia with an all time high popularity.”
  • Trump, 2015: “In terms of leadership, [Putin’s] getting an ‘A,’ and our president is not doing so well.”
  • Putin, 2015 on Trump: “He’s a really brilliant and talented person, without any doubt.”
  • Trump, 2016: “[Putin] called me a genius, I’m going to disavow it? Are you crazy? Can you believe it? How stupid are they.”
  • AP, 2016: Russia’s Putin Reaffirms Praise for Trump, Calling Him ‘Bright’

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