The Wall Street Journal: Russia becomes point of contention with Clinton, Trump

The presidential candidates sparred over Russia’s role in the U.S. and the world Sunday, with Democrat Hillary Clinton saying Russian intelligence had hacked the Democratic National Committee and Republican Donald Trump suggesting Russia doesn’t have a presence in Ukraine.

Clinton, saying Russia had arranged for emails from the DNC to be leaked, said this raises serious issues about Russian interference in America’s democracy.

“We would not tolerate that from any other country, particularly one with whom we have adversarial positions,” Clinton said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Federal agencies haven’t publicly said definitely that Russia or Russian-affiliated hackers are responsible for the DNC hack, but officials have said privately that is likely the case.

“We know that Russian intelligence services, which are part of the Russian government which is under the firm control of [President] Vladimir Putin, hacked into the DNC,” Clinton said. “And we know that they arranged for a lot of those emails to be released.”

The Republican nominee made his own comments on Russia in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” reiterating that he would consider accepting Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. That would be at odds with most Western leaders, who have condemned Moscow’s annexation of Crimea as a violation of international law.

During a Trump presidency Putin “is not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand,” Trump said. “He’s not gonna go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.”

Host George Stephanopoulos said Putin is already in Ukraine, and Trump responded, “He’s there in a certain way,” adding that this is the responsibility of President Barack Obama. “I’m not there. You have Obama there,” he said. “And frankly, that whole part of the world is a mess under Obama.”

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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