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DNC expects more Wikileaks e-mail releases

DNC expects more Wikileaks e-mail releases

07/27/16 07:07PM

Donna Brazile, interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, discusses the quantity of material stolen from their digital accounts by hackers and the expectation that Wikileaks will release more of it as the presidential campaign continues. watch

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 7.27.16

07/27/16 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:
 
* Prosecutors in Baltimore "have dropped the remaining cases against the three officers to be tried in the death of Freddie Gray, bringing the case to an end without a conviction. Officer Garrett E. Miller's trial was slated to start Wednesday with Sgt. Alicia D. White to begin in October."
 
* No end in sight: "Turkey's government has ordered the closure of dozens of media outlets -- including news agencies, television channels, radio stations and newspapers -- as part of its widespread crackdown in the wake of a failed coup attempt on July 15."
 
* Doing nothing remains the right call: "The Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Wednesday, but it issued an upbeat assessment of economic conditions that suggested a growing chance that it would increase rates later this year."
 
* 35 years later: "John Hinckley Jr., the would-be assassin who almost killed President Ronald Reagan, will be freed after 35 years in a mental hospital, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. The judge granted Hinckley, 61, permission to live full-time in the home of his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia, after finding that his continued treatment at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., is 'no longer clinically warranted or beneficial.'"
 
* Orlando: "Pulse Nightclub, a queer club that became the location of the worst mass shooting in American history, is slated to become a permanent memorial for the 49 individuals, most of them queer people of color, who lost their lives on June 12 when an armed shooter opened fire."
 
* I've always liked Jackson Park: "The Obama Presidential Library has found a home. Sources told The Associated Press and Chicago Tribune Wednesday that the president has settled on Jackson Park, a green area of more than 500 acres on Chicago's South Side, east of the University of Chicago. Jackson Park beat out rival Washington Park, another South Side green space rumored to have been in the running for the institution."
U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at Trump Doral golf course in Miami, Florida, July 27, 2016. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Trump sees Geneva Conventions as 'out of date'

07/27/16 03:16PM

Donald Trump made quite a bit of news this morning. At a press conference, the Republican nominee called for Russia to use its espionage services to obtain Hillary Clinton emails, apparently in the hopes that the Putin government would help Trump win the U.S. election.
 
And while that's a career-ending moment for normal candidates in normal parties in normal election cycles, in Trump's case, it wasn't the only notable exchange from this morning's event.
QUESTION: Do you think the Geneva Conventions are out of date?
 
TRUMP: I think everything's is out of date. We have a whole new world.
Pressed further, Trump added, "I am a person that believes in enhanced interrogation, yes. And by the way, it works."
 
In reality, it doesn't "work" at all, but Trump too often doesn't seem to care about pesky details like facts and evidence. (When the Senate Intelligence Committee examined the Bush/Cheney administration's "enhanced interrogation techniques," investigators found torture was ineffective, illegal, brutal, and "provided extensive inaccurate information." Trump, in other words, has no idea what he's talking about.)
 
But let's not brush past the news too quickly. As far as Trump is concerned, the Geneva Conventions are "out of date." Asked about possible changes, the Republican told NBC News' Katy Tur, "I would renegotiate so much of everything."
 
Republicans, in particular, need to recognize that their presidential nominee is now hostile towards NATO, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and now the Geneva Conventions.
 
He also, by the way, argued the other day that the European Union was created "to beat the United States," which in no way reflects reality.
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump listens to a question during an interview after a rally in Virginia Beach, Va., July 11, 2016. (Photo by Steve Helber/AP)

Donald Trump calls for Russia to help elect him president

07/27/16 12:50PM

There's a temptation among some to believe Americans have seen it all before. No matter how ridiculous our politics can get, no matter how outlandish an election, no matter how severe the dysfunction, there are those who will tell you there's nothing politically new under the sun.
 
Those people are wrong. We've never seen anything like this.
Donald Trump on Wednesday asked Russia to help find the missing emails from Hillary Clinton's private server.
 
"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump proposed from a podium at his Doral Resort. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."
The Republican presidential hopeful added that he doesn't believe Russia was responsible for hacking DNC materials -- there's overwhelming evidence that suggests Trump is wrong -- but the GOP candidate said that if Russia did steal Democratic documents, he "hopes" the Russians have Clinton's emails.
 
Let's be very clear about what happened this morning. The Republican candidate for president held a press conference in which he urged Vladimir Putin's espionage services to help sabotage the American election and put Trump in the White House.
 
No, seriously. That's the level of genuine insanity that we've reached. Against the backdrop of allegations that Russia is already trying to intervene in the U.S. presidential race on Trump's behalf, Donald J. Trump took the next step towards true madness today, publicly calling on a foreign government to commit a felony against his American rival on his behalf.
 
There is literally nothing in the American tradition that's similar to this. Nothing. Trump is taking his candidacy, his party, and his country into uncharted waters.
 
The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes, a conservative Fox News contributor, asked this morning, "How can any Republican support a candidate who openly hopes for foreign cyberattacks on a political opponent?" I don't know the answer to that question, but I'd love to hear Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, and others defend their choice in candidates.

Wednesday's Campaign Round-Up, 7.27.16

07/27/16 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
 
* President Obama told NBC News, in a report that ran this morning, that Democrats need to recognize the possibility of a Donald Trump victory. "I think anybody who goes into campaigns not running scared can end up losing," he said. Directing his comments to Dems, the president added, "Stay worried until all those votes are cast."
 
* At a press conference this morning, Trump insisted that "they" -- he didn't say who "they" are -- believe he's received the biggest post-convention poll bounce "in memory." No one is actually saying that because it's not at all true.
 
* In Florida's U.S. Senate race, Rep. Alan Grayson (D) is facing new allegations of spousal abuse. Politico reported yesterday on the congressman's ex-wife "repeatedly" reporting accusations of domestic abuse to police "over a two-decade period."
 
* In light of the report, both the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America, which had been supporting Grayson's campaign, withdrew their support. Florida's Senate primary isn't until Aug. 30; Grayson is facing Rep. Patrick Murphy in a Democratic match-up.
 
* In Indiana yesterday, the state Republican Party's central committee chose Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb to be the GOP's gubernatorial candidate in this year's election. Holcomb replaces Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee.
 
* In Indiana, the Freedom Partners Action Fund, backed by the Koch brothers, is investing $1 million in attack ads targeting former Sen. Evan Bayh (D).
St Basil's Cathedral

Experts are 'convinced' of Russia's role in DNC hack

07/27/16 11:25AM

The controversy surrounding Russia's alleged efforts to help elect Donald Trump isn't going away anytime soon, but there are some core questions that need to be addressed. We'll need to know, for example, whether Russia was responsible for hacking the DNC network and leaking private materials.
 
NBC News' report on this didn't leave much in the way of doubt.
Many U.S. officials and cyber security experts in and out of government are convinced that state-sponsored Russian hackers are the ones who stole 20,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee and leaked them to the public just in time to disrupt the Democrats' national convention in Philadelphia.
The NBC News assessment was based on a variety of considerations, including geography, language, forensic evidence, motive, and history.
 
Similarly, ABC News ran a similar report yesterday, quoting a security expert who investigated the hack. Michael Buratowski, the senior vice president of cybersecurity services at Fidelis Cybersecurity, said, "I come from a law enforcement background, and it's [about being] beyond a reasonable doubt. And I would say it's beyond a reasonable doubt" that Russians stole the DNC materials.
 
The New York Times added this morning, "American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have 'high confidence' that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence."
 
Now, even if these reports are accurate, and Russian officials stole the Democratic materials, that doesn't answer the "why" question. Russia's alleged involvement is an important piece of the puzzle, but we'll still need to know the Putin government's motivation.
 
It's one thing to take DNC documents; it's something else to leak those documents at a strategic moment in the hopes of dictating the outcome of an American presidential election.

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