October 7th, 2016, was one of the most important days in American political history. At 4:03 pm that day, the Access Hollywood tape was released. Just 29 minutes later, WikiLeaks – at 4:32pm on a Friday –began releasing emails hacked by Russian military officers from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s account. The timing of this dump made no sense for WikiLeaks. But it made a lot of sense for Donald Trump.
Last week on The Asset, we talked about the five steps to collusion: Hack. Inform. Collude. Release. Campaign. This week, we take a deep dive into that final step and break down how Trump campaigned on the stolen email releases. Russia hacked in March, gave WikiLeaks emails in September, WikiLeaks released them in October 2016, and Trump ran on these emails through November, mentioning WikiLeaks more than 150 times in the final weeks of the campaign. The email releases from WikiLeaks were core to Trump’s campaign strategy in the home stretch of the election.
In this episode of The Asset, host Max Bergmann, the director of The Moscow Project, an initiative of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, breaks down how the Trump team ran their campaign of collusion all the way to the White House. The episode explores how these two campaigns, the Russian campaign and the Trump campaign, worked together in tandem. And if this sounds like the definition of collusion, that’s because it is.
The Asset tells the full story of Trump and Russia. Each week, we will examine the colorful characters and dirty deals that populate the story of how Russia helped the son of a shady real estate mogul became President of the United States.
Left Photo: Getty Images/Jamie Squire. Right Photo: Getty Images/Mikhail Svetlov.