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Dianne Feinstein: Russia Wanted to 'Dirty Up' Hillary With Hacks

Image: Dianne Feinstein: Russia Wanted to 'Dirty Up' Hillary With Hacks

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

By    |   Thursday, 15 Dec 2016 06:30 PM

Russia wanted to "dirty up" Hillary Clinton by only releasing information it hacked on the Democratic presidential candidate and not on Republicans, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Thursday.

"Much of what was collected on the other side of the aisle was never released," the four-term Democrat, who is vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN. "But the releases were made on the Democratic side.

"What I believe the intent was to dirty up Clinton and make it more difficult.

"Most people believed that Hillary Clinton would win the election," she said, adding that Russia's meddling would "throw as much of a monkey wrench into it as was possible by the release of this kind of information in places where it would do her harm."

Clinton repeatedly accused Russia of interfering in the campaign — and Obama administration officials said that the Kremlin had hacked into computers of the Democratic National Committee and other party operatives, including Clinton campaign chief John Podesta.

News reports also indicated that Moscow also hacked various GOP operatives, though Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus fiercely denied that the party's accounts were breached.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday that the FBI told him in August that Russia had hacked the accounts of his vendor during his primary campaign.

The Podesta and DNC emails were released over several months through WikiLeaks, which has denied any Russian involvement.

NBC News reported late Wednesday that intelligence officials believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in an effort to undermine the 2016 election.

Feinstein, 83, told Blitzer that she found it hard to believe that Putin was not involved in the hacks or on the specific release of data on Clinton.

"Could this much have been done without Mr. Putin's knowledge or assent?" she asked. "I would be hard-pressed to think that a country would go ahead with this without their leader's approval."

Feinstein called on President Barack Obama, who has authorized a report on Moscow's involvement in the election, to release the finished document — unclassified — before he leaves office next month.

"This is really serious — because this strikes at the basis of a free democratic system and its ability to conduct a fair election."

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Russia wanted to "dirty up" Hillary Clinton by only releasing information it hacked on the Democratic presidential candidate and not on Republicans, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Thursday.
dianne feinstein, russia, hacking, democrats, hillary clinton
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2016-30-15
Thursday, 15 Dec 2016 06:30 PM
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