Russia hack of Democrat followed Trump speech

FILE In this file photo taken on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006, President Vladimir Putin wears headphones as he tests a pistol in a shooting range as he visits the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate in Moscow, Russia. The Justice Department has announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 presidential election, it was announced on Friday, July 13, 2018. (Dmitry Astakhov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) –The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Was Russia listening, after all?

In a July 27, 2016, speech, then-candidate Donald Trump called on Russian hackers to find emails from Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent in the U.S. presidential campaign.

“Russia, if you’re listening,” Trump said, “I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

Hours later, the Main Intelligence Directorate in Moscow appeared to heed the call — targeting Clinton’s personal office and hitting more than 70 other Clinton campaign accounts. That’s according to a grand jury indictment Friday charging 12 Russian military intelligence officers with hacking into the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party as part of a sweeping conspiracy by the Kremlin to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election.

Advertisement

The indictment says July 27 was the first time Clinton’s personal office was targeted.

The attempt to penetrate Clinton’s campaign began March 10, 2016, and hit a significant success on March 19 when the Russian intelligence officers busted open the email account of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, an AP investigation last year found.

They “phished” intensively and repetitively. Throughout at least March and April there were repeated efforts to break into about 120 Democratic National Committee, Clinton and left-leaning activists’ accounts across the country.

Then they brought Clinton’s personal office into their scope, the indictment says — the very evening Trump appeared to beckon Russians to do just that.