After Friday's leak of 20,000 stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, the second of its kind in three months, The New York Times
ran a story suggesting a link from the hacks to Russia President Vladimir Putin to aid Donald Trump.
What had been quiet innuendo has evolved into the Kremlin's role in the hack and leak and whether Putin has an active role in influencing the election in favor of Trump.
The email dump on Friday has embarrassed Democrats after exposing leadership's dealings with Bernie Sanders and led to the swift resignation announcement
of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
U.S. cybersecurity firms have found the DNC breach was done by the same Russian intelligence hackers they found lodged in sensitive government agency servers before, and though a direct trace back to anyone specific is nearly impossible, it's enough to embolden claims of conspiracy theories from the left.
Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook took to the Sunday morning talk show circuit to claim the Russians are helping Donald Trump
, a Hail Mary denounced and ridiculed by Team Trump, the Times reported.
But between the repeated hit on Democrats, Trump's public respect for Russia President Vladimir Putin, his anti-NATO remark last week, and campaign manager Paul Manafort's ties to the former Russian-backed leader of Ukraine, there's enough intrigue for a spy novel.
But what impact it has this week on the Democratic convention — especially with Sanders supporters — in Philadelphia and on the election is something that has to be managed. And questions are getting asked.
Manafort on Sunday was asked by ABC directly if there are any ties between Trump and Putin.
"No, there are not," Manafort was quoted by the Times. "That's absurd. And, you know, there's no basis to it."
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