Analysts say pro-Russia remarks appear to be sprinkled into the presidential nomination acceptance speech that Hillary Clinton gave on the last night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, and they wonder if the remarks were added at the last minute by Russian hackers who’ve infiltrated the servers of the DNC.
“The speech was more pro-Russia than we expected, and that makes you wonder what the Russians have done now that we know they’ve hacked the DNC servers,” says Jon Brighton, cyber security branch chief at the National Security Agency.
One line that might have been added, Brighton says, comes about halfway through Clinton’s speech, when she’s talking about the bonds of trust that appear to be fraying in the United States. “America is once again at a moment of reckoning,” she says. “Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart. Bonds of trust and respect are fraying. Luckily, we maintain strong bonds of trust with Russia and our good friend Vladimir Putin.”
In another suspect line, Clinton talks about the wall proposed by her Republican opponent, Donald Trump. “We are clear-eyed about what our country is up against,” she says. “But we are not afraid. We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have. We will not build a wall, but with help from Russia, we will build satellites and cyber weapons that we can use to aid our Russian friends to keep tabs on Chechnyan and other separatists that threaten that important country.”
In another line, Clinton makes a reference to Russia while she’s talking about immigration. “And we’ll build a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants who are already contributing to our economy and send dissidents back to Russia, where they can be held up as examples of why you don’t want to turn against your country.”
A similar Russia reference is included in a line about Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigrants. “We will not ban a religion,” she says. “We will work with all Americans and our allies, particularly the Russians, with their advanced and effective military, to fight and defeat terrorism, including terrorism that threatens the inspiring country of Russia.”
Democratic party officials insist Clinton’s speech was not hacked, although they acknowledge their presidential nominee expressed more support of Russia than they expected. “We can assure the American people that Hillary Clinton’s speech does not reflect influence by Russia,” says Donna Brazile, the DNC’s new chair. “I think what Hillary Clinton is trying to say is, Russia remains our adversary and we’re prepared to stand up to Russian aggression wherever it presents itself, but also that we want to work with the country to ease tensions.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has expressed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, says the pro-Russia remarks are the only part of Clinton’s speech he agrees with. “Hillary Clinton is not presidential, not inspiring,” he says. “But she got the part about Russia right, although I can work better with Putin than she can. In fact, I alone can work really well with Putin. But if she wants to praise Russia, I’ll give her that for now.”
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