Obama on Russia trying to tip US election: ‘anything is possible’
President Barack Obama is refusing to rule out the possibility that Russia is trying to sway the US presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.
“Anything is possible,” Obama told NBC News in interview due to air Wednesday — the furthest the US government has gone in pointing the finger at Russia for a vast leak of Democratic National Committee emails. Russia denies involvement.
Obama said the FBI continues to probe the leak that showed apparent bias toward Hillary Clinton over rival Bernie Sanders.
The leak was a howling embarrassment for the Democrats at their convention this week in Philadelphia. The Clinton campaign says cyber-experts it has hired have suggested Russia was to blame and its goal was to help the Republican presidential candidate Trump.
Obama said he could not speak to the precise motive of the hack or subsequent leak but is aware of Trump’s comments about Russia.
“Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin,” Obama said in an excerpt of an interview that will air in full on Wednesday.
“And I think that Trump’s gotten pretty favorable coverage back in Russia.”
He added: “What we do know is that the Russians hack our systems. Not just government systems, but private systems.”
Security firm CrowdStrike revealed that when it responded in April to a suspected breach of DNC systems, the company identified “two sophisticated adversaries” whom it linked to Russian intelligence.
The Washington Post reported that the hackers stole data including a trove of opposition research on Trump.