Hillary Clinton: Timing of Russian hack aimed at helping Trump

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Story highlights

  • Hillary Clinton links Donald Trump to Russian hacking of Democratic organizations
  • She likened the situation to Watergate

Hampton, Illinois (CNN)Hillary Clinton on Monday drew a line between Donald Trump and suspected Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee when she spoke with reporters during her first day on a shared campaign plane.

Clinton said the Russian hacking was "almost unthinkable" and compared the intrusions into a variety of Democratic bodies to Watergate, the infamous break-in of the Democratic National Committee in 1972 by aides close to then President Richard Nixon.
    "This is like Watergate only now in cyber time," Clinton said during her in flight press conference, echoing a comment Tim Kaine, her vice presidential nominee, made this week.
    "It is stunning that we are facing this and especially from a foreign power that has the capacity, with the consensus is that they have used, to extract information and to enable that information to be made public."

    'Strong evidence'

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    US intelligence officials say there is strong evidence showing Russian intelligence behind hacks into the DNC and attempted hacks into other Democratic organizations.
    Clinton said it was "interesting that this activity has happened around the time Trump became the nominee" and said the Republican nominee's ties to Putin -- including glowing statements -- "raises even more serious questions about Trump."
    "Look, he very early on allied himself with Putin's policies," Clinton added. "He seems to have this bizarre attraction to dictators, including Putin."
    On the Russian president, Clinton said it was "very clear [Putin] is quite satisfied with himself" for the intrusions.
    While speaking to the American Legion, a veterans' organization, last month, Clinton said she would treat cyber attacks "just like any other attack" and would "be ready with serious political, economic and military responses."
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    Email server

    Clinton started flying with her campaign press corps on Monday, debuting a Boeing 737 plane for the next 63 days of the campaign. In flight, Clinton headed to the back of the plane and took over a dozen questions from reporters. This is the first time Clinton took questions from her traveling press corps since Ashland, Ohio on July 31.
    During the question and answer, Clinton responded FBI notes on her interview with the investigative body and denied that she knew anything about aides wiping her server with a sophisticated program known as BleachBit.
    "I don't know anything about that," Clinton said. "That was not something I was aware of and I think the fact point out that there was no connection. It wasn't something, as far as I understand, that was related."
    Clinton's conversation with reporters was cut shot during her flight because she had a fit of coughs while answering a question. Clinton suffered a similar couch attack earlier in the day during a rally in Cleveland.
    Clinton dismissed conspiracy theories about her health that have festered, in part, because of her coughing attacks.
    "I am not concerned about the conspiracy theories," she said. "There are so many of them I have lost track of them. So I pay no attention to them."
    Asked if they were sexist, Clinton simply said, "Hmmmmmm."