Hillary Clinton appeared at an event held for donors in New York, telling them that Russian President Vladimir Putin was allegedly involved in the hacking of Democratic organizations during the election season.
She claimed that Putin had a grudge against her, leading to alleged hacks, according to CNN, which had a source at the New York event. “She also said Putin held a grudge against her stemming from Clinton’s comments about Russia’s 2011 parliamentary elections. Clinton issued a sharp critique of Russia’s parliamentary elections as secretary of state, suggesting that the elections were not free and fair. Putin then blamed Clinton for protests that broke out afterward,” the report stated.
Clinton, the former Democratic presidential candidate, didn’t mention Republican President-elect Donald Trump in her speech. But, according to a source, she told donors the hack was an “attack on national security and an attack on our democracy,” urging them to stay steadfast within the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post published an op/ed from John Podesta—the longtime aide to Clinton and noted Washington insider whose emails were leaked by WikiLeaks in batches—claiming there is a partisan bias inside the FBI. According to photos published by the Daily Mail, Podesta appeared at the New York event hosted by Clinton.
“Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI,” Podesta wrote.
Clinton’s and Podesta’s comments come after NBC News reported that the Russian leader was “personally involved” in the hack—with the broadcaster quoting unnamed U.S. intelligence sources to produce the report. According to NBC, Putin’s effort was an effort to show corruption in U.S. political institutions and to “split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn’t depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore,” an unnamed official told NBC.
However, on Tuesday, the Reuters news agency reported that three official sources inside the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the agency that oversees 17 American spy networks, said that while Russia likely carried out hacks during the election, the agency doesn’t embrace the CIA’s claims that they were done to sway the election in favor of Trump.
“ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can’t prove intent,” one of the three ODNI officials told Reuters. “Of course they can’t, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow.”
A spokesman for Putin on Friday denied the allegations levied at Russia.
Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was “indecent” for the U.S. officials to “groundlessly” accuse the state of trying to sway the U.S. election, according to Russian state-run news agency TASS. “They should either stop talking about that or produce some proof at last. Otherwise it all begins to look unseemly,” Peskov added.