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Is Russia trying to sway U.S. presidential election?

By Laurie Bennett

July 25, 2016 at 9:45am

At first, the suggestion that the Russians had hacked DNC servers in an effort to boost Donald Trump’s presidential campaign seemed like another cockeyed conspiracy theory.

But evidence is now trickling out that the Russian security agency may have been behind the incursion and the leak Friday of 20,000 emails.

Released on the eve of the Democratic convention, the leak has already had an impact. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has submitted her resignation.

On Sunday, Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said the emails were leaked “by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.” Mook did not provide evidence to back up this claim.

Today, the New York Times reported that the attack on the Democrats’ servers was the work of at least two intelligence groups, one of which “appears to be operated by the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence service.”

Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, denied that there were connections between the campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As our interactive Muckety map shows, however, Manafort himself has such connections, having advised Russia-backed Viktor F. Yanukovich, former president of Ukraine.

The intrigued sparked renewed calls for Trump to release his tax returns, to reveal any possible business interests in Russia.

As the Washington Post reported last month, Trump worked with Russian investors to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow. He also signed an agreement to build a Trump Tower in the city.

“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., said at a real estate conference in 2008. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

The Clintons have also benefitted from Russian largesse. As the Times reported in April, leaders of a Canadian corporation, Uranium One, made big donations to the Clinton Foundation as their company was being acquired by Russia.

A Russian investment bank, which was promoting Uranium One stock, also paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech.

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