John Podesta, national chairman of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, may have opened himself up to a Russian “influence campaign” designed to temper his views of the Kremlin, The Daily Caller News Foundation (TheDCNF) Investigative Group has learned.
Influence campaigns are conducted by many governments — including the United States — with the aim of influencing decision makers in other countries to realign their geopolitical worldviews more closely with those of the influencing country.
Some national security experts interviewed by TheDCNF wonder if Podesta may still be a target of Russian influence. They trace the campaign back to his company board membership, in which one-third of the board were top Russian businessmen with direct ties to the Kremlin.
The last time Podesta talked negatively about Russia was Dec. 18, 2016, when he charged in an NBC “Meet the Press” interview the 2016 election was “distorted by the Russian intervention.”
The former Clinton national campaign chairman has since been silent, even as other former top Clinton aides, such as Robby Mook, Brian Fallon, and Jim Margolis have repeatedly aimed high-decibel rhetoric at President Donald Trump about Russian “meddling” in the 2016 presidential race.
Clinton campaign manager Mook, for example, hit the airwaves as recently as Thursday in an MSNBC appearance with Craig Melvin about Russia’s alleged meddling in the election.
Podesta’s silence is particularly striking, according to retired Air Force Col. James Waurishuk, who told TheDCNF, “We haven’t heard very much from Podesta lately, particularly on the subject of Russia’s interference in the elections.”
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