Name and Shame? Obama Points to Russia on DNC Email Hacking

President Barack Obama's decision to identify Russia as almost certainly the culprit in hacking the Democratic National Committee and releasing politically embarrassing emails fits his administration's new penchant for openly blaming foreign governments for such break-ins.

Even as the U.S. continues to secretly hack its own adversaries, Obama is raising the stakes for countries caught behind the keyboards engaging in cyber espionage, including major powers like Russia and China.

Obama traditionally avoids commenting on active FBI investigations, but he told NBC News on Tuesday that outside experts have blamed Russia for the leak and appeared to embrace the notion that President Vladimir Putin might have been responsible because of what he described as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's affinity for Putin.

In Moscow on Wednesday, Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Russia would never interfere in another country's election.

"What the motives were in terms of the leaks, all that, I can't say directly," Obama said. "What I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin."

Obama said he was basing his assessment on Trump's own comments and the fact that Trump has "gotten pretty favorable coverage back in Russia." He added that the U.S. knows that "Russians hack our systems -- not just government systems, but private systems."

WikiLeaks published on its website last week more than 19,000 internal emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee earlier this year. The emails showed DNC staffers actively supporting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton when they were publicly promising to remain neutral during the primary elections between Clinton and rival candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, resigned over the disclosures, which disrupted this week's Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

Trump said statements that Russia was responsible for the hacking were "far-fetched, so ridiculous." He said blaming Russia was deflecting attention from...

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