Speed Reads


Hillary Clinton, in news conference, accuses Russia of Watergate-like political meddling

Hillary Clinton took questions from the news media on Monday in the back of her new campaign plane, which will now begin carrying reporters along with the Democratic presidential nominee. She took some swipes at Russia, which U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies believe is trying to influence and disrupt the U.S. election, and at Republican opponent Donald Trump. Russian President Vladimir "Putin and the team around him certainly believe that there is some benefit to them for doing this," Clinton said.

Clinton compared Russian activity to the bungled 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee's office in the Watergate hotel, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974. "This is like Watergate, only in cyber time," she said. "Breaking into the Democratic National Committee either physically or into electronic files to withdraw information to be used for political purposes, it is stunning that we are facing this and especially from a foreign power." Clinton added that "when Putin was asked about it, he could barely muster the energy to deny it, if any of you saw it."

"I think it's quite intriguing that this activity has happened around the time Trump became the nominee," Clinton said, adding that "from early on," Trump has "allied himself with Putin's policies." More telling, she said, "we've never had the nominee of one of our major parties urging the Russians to hack.... I want everyone — Democrat, Republican, Independent — to understand the real threat that this represents." She wouldn't say that Russia wants to tip the election to Trump, but did pull out an old saying in Arkansas: "If you find a turtle on a fence post, it didn’t get there by itself."

Clinton also discussed the FBI report released on Friday summarizing her interview on her use of a private email server as secretary of state. "I went into the State Department understanding classification," Clinton said. "I'd been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for years before I was secretary of state. I take classification seriously. The fact I couldn't remember certain meetings, whether or not they had occurred, doesn't in any way affect the commitment that I had, and still have, to the treatment of classified material."

And if Clinton's cough has you googling her wellness, she also told reporters on the plane that she is "not concerned" about the conspiracy theories about her health, or the tightening polls. Peter Weber