AP FACT CHECK: Clinton and Trump on possible Russian hacking

AP News
Posted: Sep 26, 2016 11:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — CLINTON: "Donald publicly invited Putin to hack into Americans."

TRUMP on hacking of the Democratic National Committee: "I don't think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC... I mean it could be Russia. But it could also be China. It could be lots of other people. It could be somebody sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds."

THE FACTS: Clinton's claim is an exaggeration; Trump's assessment doesn't reflect U.S. intelligence.

After the DNC hack in July and initial reports linking Moscow, Trump suggested that Russia should focus on getting deleted messages from the private email server Clinton used as secretary of state.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said. But he didn't call specifically for Putin to "hack into Americans," as Clinton put it.

Meanwhile, Trump's refusal to point the finger at Moscow is at odds with the prevailing position of the U.S. intelligence community and in line with the flattering comments he's made about Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, throughout the campaign.

Last week, National Intelligence Director James Clapper said, "There's a tradition in Russia of interfering with elections, their own and others." The top Democrats on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees say they've concluded Russian intelligence agencies were trying to influence the U.S. presidential election.

Russia has denied the accusation.