Trump decides he doesn’t like leaks as president,after loving WikiLeaks as a candidate
In July, WikiLeaks published thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee. Days later, Trump scoffed at accusations that the Russians could have been involved with the hack, saying that it was “probably China, or it could be somebody sitting in his bed.” He added that he hoped Russia had all of Clinton’s emails, even the “beauties” that were deleted or were not turned over to the Justice Department.
“I will tell you this, ‘Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,’” Trump said, referring to messages that Clinton did not hand over because she and her team categorized them as personal. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens.”
Republicans rushed to denounce the comment, and Trump’s running mate Mike Pence quickly issued a statement that read: “If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences.”
Months later, in October, Podesta’s email account was hacked, and his emails were released by WikiLeaks. At the time, Podesta said the FBI was investigating the “criminal hack” as part of a wider inquiry into potential Russian cyberattacks — and he suggested Trump might have known about the hack ahead of time.
Trump and his associates have denied having anything to do with the hacks, although at a Jan. 11 news conference, Trump conceded that Russia was probably behind the hacks. He added that the Russians might have tried to hack the Republican National Committee but were unable to because it had “a very, very strong hacking defense.”
“The Democratic National Committee was totally open to be hacked. They did a very poor job. They could have had hacking defense, which we had,” Trump said. “They tried to hack the Republican National Committee, and they were unable to break through. We have to do that for our country. It’s very important.”
Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director for Clinton’s 2016 campaign, said watching Trump decry leaks within his own administration after praising WikiLeaks during the campaign has been an exercise in the absurd.