Blaming Russia has been the go-to strategy for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton since the convention, and that appears unchanged today, with reporters asking if Clinton was concerned that the weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey were a Russian plot to try to get Donald Trump elected.
An absurd question, but Clinton was very specific in not saying no, instead insisting only that she didn’t “want to speculate” and then launching into a diatribe accusing Trump of boosting ISIS with his campaign rhetoric throughout the election cycle.
Clinton cited former CIA Director Michael Hayden’s claim that Trump is “being used as a recruiting sergeant for the terrorists,” and even accused Trump of “giving aid and comfort” to ISIS with his comments. She went on to insist she is the only candidate who knows how to fight terrorism.
Over the past day, both Clinton and Trump also accused ISIS of rooting for the other side to win the election, with Clinton insisting her administration would be “going after the bad guys” and not the entire Muslim faith. Trump responded by claiming ISIS “want her so badly to be our president.”
Clinton’s campaign has explicitly blamed Russia for previous incidents harmful to her campaign, and have openly accused Trump of being “a Kremlin puppet,” insisting that the Russian government was making serious efforts to get Trump elected.
This centered primarily on hacking incidents targeting the Democratic Party, which they have claimed were done by the Russian government, despite a paucity of evidence to that effect. While accusing them of bombing New York would be much more extreme, Clinton’s refusal to dismiss the idea out of hand suggests the campaign wants to keep that speculation alive, at least for the time being.