TRUMP CAMPAIGN CHIEF SAYS BUSINESSMAN HAS NO FINANCIAL TIES TO RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS AND CLINTON'S SPIN ON THE EMAIL HACK STORY IS AN 'ABSURD' ATTEMPT TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT


Donald Trump’s campaign isn’t buying Democratic spin on DNC email hack.
Hillary Clinton’s aides and allies are claiming the hack was the brainchild of the Russian government and the leak was intentionally timed to coincide the Democratic nominating convention to undermine the former secretary of state.
Vladimir Putin’s government would rather see Trump become president, they say, because he would pursue a pro-Russian foreign policy. 
Trump told a CBS affiliate Tuesday that if it were him saying those things they’d call it a ‘conspiracy theory’ – ‘I have nothing to do with Russia. I don’t have any jobs in Russia. I’m all over the world but we’re not involved in Russia.’
The billionaire’s campaign chief Paul Manafort said on CBS This Morning that the theory is ‘an absurd attempt by the Clinton campaign to try to get the focus off of what the real issue is’ – her own unsecured emails.
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Donald Trump’s campaign isn’t buying Democratic spin on DNC email hack. The billionaire’s campaign chief Paul Manafort said on CBS This Morning that the theory is ‘an absurd attempt by the Clinton campaign to try to get the focus off of what the real issue is’ – her own unsecured emails
Of a possible connection between Trump and the Russians, Manfort said, ‘We have no relationship.’
‘So to be clear, Mr. Trump has no financial relationships with any Russian oligarchs?’ CBS’ Norah O’Donnell asked him.
Manafort stumbled over his words as he said to her, ‘That’s what he said. That’s what I said. That’s-that’s obviously what our position is.’
President Barack Obama boosted the Clinton organization’s claims on Tuesday when he said in an interview with NBC that it’s ‘possible’Putin could be orchestrating a recent computer hack of Democratic National Committee emails in order to help Donald Trump win America’s presidential election. 
Obama told NBC that he couldn’t say for sure what Putin is up to, but left the door wide open for conspiracy theories. 
‘What the motives were in terms of the leaks, all that – I can’t say directly,’ Obama told Today show co-host Savannah Guthrie. ‘What I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin.’ 
The president told her, ‘I am basing this on what Mr. Trump himself has said. Adding, ‘And I think that Trump’s gotten pretty favorable coverage back in Russia.’ 
Trump tweeted that the idea was ‘crazy,’ shortly after Obama’s comments surfaced.
Evidence is mounting that hackers aligned with Russia’s government were responsible for stealing the DNC’s computer files and airing the party’s dirty laundry with help from the Wikileaks website.
The public relations damage from messages showing the party trying to sabotage Sen. Bernie Sanders’ candidacy has been significant, and led to the resignation on Sunday of the party’s chairwoman.
Trump was his usual filter-free self on Twitter, writing: ‘In order to try and deflect the horror and stupidity of the Wikileaks disaster, the Dem[ocrat]s said maybe it is Russia dealing with Trump. Crazy!’ 
‘For the record,’ he wrote in a follow-up tweet, ‘I have ZERO investments in Russia.’
Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov sternly dismissed the idea on Tuesday as well.
President Barack Obama told NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie in an interview set for broadcast Tuesday night that it’s ‘possible’ Russian President Vladimir Putin is pulling the strings on the Democratic Party’s email hacking scandal in order to help Donald Trump win the November election
Trump isn’t impressed with Obama’s contention, tweeting that it’s a ‘crazy’ conspiracy theory
Russian fingerprints are all over the DNC hack, computer security experts say, but it’s too soon to know whether the prints belong to Putin
At the site of a diplomatic meeting in Laos, reporters asked him about his country’s involvement in the controversy.
His only response was ‘I do not want to use four-letter words,’ according to the Associated Press. 
Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook refused to back down from the claim on Tuesday morning. He said news reports have established Russians stole Democratic Party documents and emails and ‘turned it over to the Wikileaks and other hackers to push out, to harm Secretary Clinton and help Donald Trump.’
That suggestion – that the Russian president fears a Clinton White House more than a Trump administration, would be a powerful argument for the former secretary of state to use in her fall campaign. 
A New York Times analysis found that the earliest hacking attempts linked to the current DNC crisis dated back to the middle of 2015, long before Trump became a viable Oval Office hopeful.
Trump’s campaign chairman mocked the allegation on Monday, calling it ‘pure obfuscation’ and saying Clinton and her handlers ‘don’t want to talk about what is in the emails.’
He said Tuesday morning on CBS, ‘The real issue isn’t even the Democratic National Committee’s server being hacked. The real issue is her server that was sitting in a closet in her home in New York that was unsecured. 
‘So you can imagine if it was so easy to do the DNC server, what the likelihood is that how many countries have hacked into that server and that one had national security documents in it that are probably floating all over the world now.’
Manafort said, ‘That’s the real problem and once again it’s showing that the concern that the Democrats have for national security is all talk and not really any reality.’
Obama administration officials don’t believe the Russian government’s denials, CBS News reported.
That’s because the computer intrusion was similar to others conducted in the past by Russian agents, including distinctive methods that point straight to Moscow.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook said media reports have established a connection between Russian hackers and the Democratic National Committee leak
‘We understand how hack groups use the Internet to attack. The pattern and launch point used before by Russians is similar to the DNC attack,’ an intelligence official told CBS.
The AP also quoted Fidelis Cybersecurity expert Michael Buratowski, who said that after an investigation into the hack he was nearly certain that Russians were behind it.
Buratowski cited ‘Russian internet addresses, Russian language keyboards, and the time codes corresponding to business hours in Russia, as well as the sophistication of the hack.’
One official told CBS that the Democratic National Committee was given warning ahead of this week’s national convention ‘that something was going on.’ But they took some time to respond.’
Another said the Obama administration is basing its conclusions in part on the fact that the hackers ‘left all kinds of fingerprints.’
Some of those fingerprints apparently were also left on emails sent to The Hill, an inside-the-beltway Washington, D.C. newspaper, by a hacker who calls himself ‘Guccifer 2.0’ – the anonymous person who allegedly last week gave 19,000 DNC emails to the Wikileaks website to publish. 
The Hill reported Tuesday that emails from the hacker showed signs of being run through an identity-masking technique that operated in the Russian language.
Guccifer 2.0 has denied being a Russian agent, saying he couldn’t recognize or read Russian writing.
Virtual Private Networks are standard tools for hackers and other online denizens who want to mask their identities.
By using a VPN to connect to websites – including free email providers – minimally skilled computer users can obliterate evidence of who and where they are.
The website Vocativ reported Tuesday that a commercial data analysis established that when Guccifer 2.0 used an AOL account in France to communicate with reporters in one case, he piggybacked on a VPN that in large part operates in Russian.
The out-of-the-ordinary private French VPN is used by criminals including text-message scammers.
The Hill reported that the website of the VPN, called ‘Elite,’ is written in Russian. While English translations are available for much of it, some parts of the website – including the entire signup process – are Russian-only.
Guccifer 2.0 has claimed to be Romanian, but in one interview with the computer-expert website Motherboard, he fumbled with the Romanian language and claimed he had no working knowledge of Russian. 
The public release of the DNC’s emails caused such consternation inside the party that its chairwoman, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, announced this week that she will step down from her post on Friday. She’s been mostly absent from the convention activities and has not appeared on stage.
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