Are the Russians manipulating the U.S. election?

Researchers are concluding that it was the Russians–indeed, a Russian intelligence agency–that hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s e-mails and gave them to Wikileaks. Which raises the question: Is Vladimir Putin working to get Donald Trump elected?

Not only have the two expressed admiration for each other. A Trump presidency would clearly be in Russia’s self-interest. Trump threatens to leave NATO and has said that he might not defend NATO members if they are attacked, with specific reference to the Baltic Republics, which Putin has his eye on.

Is Trump a Manchurian candidate? Certainly, Democrats are already spinning that narrative.

Is this just a Cold-War style conspiracy theory? Or could there be something to it?

From As Democrats Gather, a Russian Subplot Raises Intrigue – The New York Times:

An unusual question is capturing the attention of cyberspecialists, Russia experts and Democratic Party leaders in Philadelphia: Is Vladimir V. Putin trying to meddle in the American presidential election?

Until Friday, that charge, with its eerie suggestion of a Kremlin conspiracy to aid Donald J. Trump, has been only whispered.

But the release on Friday of some 20,000 stolen emails from theDemocratic National Committee’s computer servers, many of them embarrassing to Democratic leaders, has intensified discussion of the role of Russian intelligence agencies in disrupting the 2016 campaign. . . .

Proving the source of a cyberattack is notoriously difficult. But researchers have concluded that the national committee was breached by two Russian intelligence agencies, which were the same attackers behind previous Russian cyberoperations at the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year. And metadata from the released emails suggests that the documents passed through Russian computers. Though a hacker claimed responsibility for giving the emails to WikiLeaks, the same agencies are the prime suspects. Whether the thefts were ordered by Mr. Putin, or just carried out by apparatchiks who thought they might please him, is anyone’s guess.

[Keep reading. . .]

HT: reg

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