Russian Media Deny Kremlin Role in DNC Email Hack, Say Democrats Look to Tap Into Anti-Putin Sentiment

MOSCOW, RUSSIA-Red Square-Getty-H 2016
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Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov reacts harshly to the accusations.

In the wake of accusations that the Kremlin could be responsible for the recent Democratic National Convention email hack, Russia's mainstream media has been widely reporting the official Russian stance denying any involvement. Some argue that the Democrats and their presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton are looking to benefit from anti-Vladimir Putin sentiment.

Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov responded to the accusations in a harsh manner typical of him. "I don't want to use four-letter words," he said after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Vientiane, Laos, on Tuesday, apparently suggesting that the accusations are ridiculous. The quote was featured in a video on the website of Russian tabloid Life and was also published by just about any every news outlet.

The Russian media also reported WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's denial of Russia's involvement in the hack. He was quoted by state-run news agency TASS as saying that "there is no proof whatsoever" that the Kremlin was behind the hack and that documents published by WikiLeaks were different from those claimed to have been obtained in the DNC hack.

English-language Kremlin-backed propaganda network Russia Today quoted Arvin Vohra, vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee, as saying that Clinton’s campaign manager accused Russia of the leak "to distract the American voters from what the American voters actually want."

And Russian business magazine Expert ran an analytical piece in which it accused Clinton's campaign of deliberately pursing the "Russian trace" angle. "The idea is clumsy, but some [U.S.] voters can buy it," reads the piece. "While Hillary Clinton unequivocally positions herself as an adversary of Russia and [President] Vladimir Putin, [Donald Trump] has repeatedly stated in speeches and interviews that resolving issues with Russia and its president is not just possible but necessary."

On July 22, some 20,000 stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers were released, many of which were embarrassing to Democratic leaders.

The leak triggered the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and also initiated a discussion of the Russian intelligence agencies' role in the hack. Metadata from the released emails shows that the hacked emails passed through Russian computers, The New York Times reported.

According to the report, two Russian intelligence agencies were allegedly involved with the hack. It also said the attackers were the same ones that targeted the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year.