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World

Are Russians Behind The DNC Email Leaks?

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's get to an explosive story that emerged going into the Democratic Convention. The FBI is investigating how internal emails from the Democratic National Committee wound up on WikiLeaks. Russian hackers appear to be to blame. The Clinton campaign says they were working on behalf of Donald Trump. Russia's foreign minister brushed off that accusation yesterday.

Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: The FBI says the breach is something it takes very seriously. White House spokesman Josh Earnest was careful not to prejudge the probe.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOSH EARNEST: What I can tell you is that this investigation will be guided by the facts and not by the political implications or potential political implications.

NAYLOR: Two different Russian intelligence agencies appear to be behind the hack, according to a cyber security firm hired by the DNC. The emails posted by WikiLeaks last Friday suggested DNC officials favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders and led to the resignation yesterday of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Clinton campaign officials say the timing of this is suspicious and are pointing fingers at the Trump campaign.

Here's Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook on ABC's "This Week."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THIS WEEK")

ROBBY MOOK: It's troubling that some experts are now telling us that this was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.

NAYLOR: Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta said there was a kind of bromance going on between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump, meanwhile, tweeted that the Clinton campaign's charges were a joke. In a speech in Roanoke, Va., he said Wasserman Schultz brought it on herself.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: She worked very, very hard to rig the system. Little did she know that China, Russia, one of our many, many friends, came in and hacked the hell out of us. Can you imagine?

NAYLOR: While Trump made light of the incident, others see more serious implications. The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, California Congressman Adam Schiff, says the idea that a powerful adversary like Russia may be trying to influence the U.S. election should concern all Americans of any party. Brian Naylor, NPR News, the White House. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.