|Photo illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker. Photos by Spencer Platt/Getty Images News, Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images.|
While a hacker claimed responsibility for giving the emails to WikiLeaks, the Russian agencies are the prime suspects.
Putin actually has a long history of covertly supporting right-wing populists across Europe. There were well documented large transfers of cash to keep Marine Le Pen's campaign alive in France. WikiLeaks cables showed Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi profited personally and professionally thanks to the largesse of Putin.
Franklin Foer details Putin's efforts to bring down the West through our elections process in this piece in Slate,
There’s a clear pattern: Putin runs stealth efforts on behalf of politicians who rail against the European Union and want to push away from NATO. He’s been a patron of Golden Dawn in Greece, Ataka in Bulgaria, and Jobbik in Hungary. Joe Biden warned about this effort last year in a speech at the Brookings Institution: “President Putin sees such political forces as useful tools to be manipulated, to create cracks in the European body politic which he can then exploit.” Ruptures that will likely multiply after Brexit—a campaign Russia’s many propaganda organs bombastically promoted.And now, little more than a week after Trump offered Putin the Baltic Nato states, emails embarrassing his opponent are released.
Finally, I'll leave you with this WaPo story from December, 2015, following a Trump appearance on Morning Joe where in he sings of his bromance/man crush on Vladimir Putin,
Maybe it's time the FBI started asking Trump and his people if they have received any documents stolen from the DNC?TRUMP: When people call you "brilliant" it's always good, especially when the person heads up Russia.HOST JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, I mean, also is a person who kills journalists, political opponents and ...WILLIE GEIST: Invades countries.SCARBOROUGH: ... and invades countries, obviously that would be a concern, would it not?TRUMP: He's running his country, and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country.SCARBOROUGH: But, again: He kills journalists that don't agree with him.TRUMP: Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing, too, Joe.
UPDATE: The FBI is investigating the hack, which they probably have been doing since the DNC first reported it. But are they asking the Trump campaign if they have any ill gotten documents from this hack?