Democrats Accuse Putin and Trump of Wild Conspiracy

Eager to get Americans talking about something other than the contents of their emails, Democratic National Committee officials quickly cast the entire episode as a Russian conspiracy this week. After 20,000 DNC emails were published on WikiLeaks, exposing the fact that many in the organization were pro-Hillary Clinton in the primaries, spokespeople have done everything possible to make this story about Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails were released on the eve of our convention here, and I think that’s disturbing,” said Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook. Mook said it was “concerning that Donald Trump changed the Republican platform to become what some experts would regard as pro-Russian.”

Except that’s not really the case. While it’s true that Trump campaign officials pushed the RNC to drop a reference to arming Ukraine, the general tone of the policy remains strongly critical of Russia.

“We will meet the return of Russian belligerence with the same resolve that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union,” read the final draft of the platform. “We will not accept any territorial change in Eastern Europe imposed by force, in Ukraine, Georgia, or elsewhere, and will use all appropriate constitutional measures to bring to justice the practitioners of aggression and assassination.”

Trump dismissed the accusation that he and Putin are engaged in an international effort to defeat Hillary.

“The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC emails, which should have never been written, because Putin likes me,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Hillary was involved in the email scandal because she is the only one with judgment so bad that such a thing could have happened.”

The FBI is reportedly investigating the breach of DNC servers, and anonymous U.S. officials say that all roads lead to Moscow. Still, experts insist that just because the leak was damaging to Clinton, it doesn’t mean that Putin is aiding Trump in any way. Putin has an interest in presenting the American electoral system as a mess, and these emails helped undermine the notion of a fair and even-handed democratic process. The DNC should take responsibility for their own disastrous actions and stop worrying about how or why they were exposed to the public. If the emails hadn’t been written, there would be no story.