The campaign of US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton may be hit by more email leaks “designed” by Russians to undermine her in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, says the communications director for Hillary for America.
Jennifer Palmieri made the warning Tuesday, yet claiming the campaign was strong enough to protect its own email security despite plans to inflict political pain on the Democratic Party.
“The WikiLeaks leak was obviously designed to hurt our convention. I don’t think they’re done. That’s how they operate,” Palmieri said.
“We can’t know, but it’s part of the reason that we wanted people to understand our belief that the Russians are behind this …People need to understand — when these leaks happen — what they’re designed to do,” she added.
The comments were made as US President Barack Obama raised the possibility that Moscow was behind hacking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in a bid to affect the result of the 2016 presidential election.
“Anything’s possible,” Obama said when asked if Russia was responsible for the cyber attack on the computer network of the DNC.
Obama noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin might prefer US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump over his Democratic rival because the New York businessman has “repeatedly expressed admiration” for Putin in the past.
“I am basing this on what Mr. Trump himself has said,” the US president said. “And I think that — Trump’s gotten pretty favorable coverage — back in Russia.”
He said the origin of the hack is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), however, he noted that “experts have attributed this to the Russians.”
“What we do know is is that the Russians hack our systems. Not just government systems, but private systems. But — you know, what the motives were in terms of the leaks, all that — I can’t say directly,” Obama said.
On Friday, the WikiLeaks website released about 20,000 emails from the DNC, which showed that party leaders had purportedly sought to undermine the presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders.
The revelation prompted DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to announce her resignation on Sunday.
Democrats have also brought the White House under pressure to publicly name Moscow as the perpetrator, according to the CNN.
State Department spokesman John Kirby, however, declined to draw any conclusions “about what happened and what the motivation was behind it.” He said the FBI is conducting an investigation into the case.
Rejecting the claims lodged against him, Trump called it laughable that Moscow would help his presidential campaign by leaking the emails.
“The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which should never have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me,” he tweeted.
The agency announced Monday it was “working to determine the nature and scope of the matter.”
The US has repeatedly pointed the finger at other nations over hacking of various American companies and institutions.