‘Trump benefits most from anything negative about Clinton’

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton © Jason Miczek
What’s masked by the recent attention on Trump is Clinton’s high vulnerability; the likely democratic nominee has big negatives, hasn’t closed the gap, and the narrative is that she cannot be trusted, says political cartoonist and author Ted Rall.

An anonymous hacker called Guccifer 2.0 made public a 42-page Democratic National Committee (DNC) memo. Western media assumed it must be Russia behind the attack, as it doesn't come as a surprise because Russian hackers are often blamed for cyber-attacks.

RT: Was it right that Hillary Clinton accepted money for the Clinton Foundation from so-called 'individual foreign donors' during her service as Secretary of State?

Ted Rall: I think it’s sleazy, I think it defines conflict of interest. Unfortunately, the idea of conflict of interest seems to be something that is not much talked about in American politics these days. Donald Trump is obviously going to use this against Hillary Clinton. It remains to be seen whether he’ll get any traction with voters or not. But for those of us who care about such things - yes, obviously, it is a serious problem.

RT: How was this hacker attack even possible, after the incidents with Clinton's emails? Shouldn't the foundation have taken extra precautions to keep this information secure?

TR: I wonder if it is just another private e-mail server in one of Clinton’s closets in house in Chappaqua, New York. Doesn’t seem like cyber security [is] a very high priority for her, or for the incipient Clinton administration. It doesn’t bode well for cyber security to be sure.

RT: The Democratic National Committee's ways of protecting Hillary Clinton from political attacks are now public knowledge. Because of this, do you think she is more vulnerable?

TR: This week has been all about talking about the very bad week or two that Trump has had, and indeed he has taken a beating, had to fire his campaign manager and has seen a drop about six point to twelve points behind Hillary Clinton in the polls.

But what is being masked by the attention on Trump is really the high vulnerability of Clinton. She still hasn’t closed the gap; she hasn’t closed a deal with Bernie Sanders and his supporters. [He] hasn’t dropped out of the race formally. There is a talk about tension and possible violence at the DNC [Democratic National Convention,] as well as the RNC [Republican National Convention.] And she has high negatives, just like Trump does really indistinguishable. She is vulnerable on these points. The narrative about Clinton is that she can’t be trusted.

RT: The mass media was quick to blame Russian hackers for the Clinton Foundation breach. Why were these conclusions made so hastily?

TR: The US is good at that. Within hours of 9/11 already commentators in the media were saying that it must be Al-Qaeda. That turned out to probably be true. But the fact is – whenever there is a cyber-attack in the US reflectively instead of just saying: “Listen, we’re going to investigate, we’re going to find out who is responsible” and then getting down to it, they immediately blame the Russians.

When there was the breach that was attributed to North Korea… there is a lot of doubt whether even North Korea was responsible for that breach a year ago related to that movie, The Interview. There is a lot of jumping to conclusions here and it is not very good journalism. 

RT: The leaked documents revealed a number of scandals - including Clinton's role in using billions of US taxpayers’ dollars to help Haiti. Who stands to benefit from this kind of information being leaked?

TR: Trump first and foremost. It’s an election year. Clinton is running against Trump; she is the likely democratic nominee, almost certainly. Trump will benefit most from anything negative that comes out about Clinton.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.