Trump Defends His Claim Clinton Was Hacked: “I Heard It”

Or something.

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Donald Trump’s speech on Wednesday attacking Hillary Clinton contained no shortage of exaggerations and falsehoods, but his claim that the former secretary of state’s email had been hacked and was likely in the hands of an enemy government stood out as a serious whopper.

“To cover up her corrupt dealings, Hillary Clinton illegally stashed her State Department emails on a private server,” Trump said. “Her server was easily hacked by foreign governments—perhaps even by her financial backers in Communist China—putting all of America in danger… So they probably now have a blackmail file over someone who wants to be president of the United States.”

Even as the FBI continues its investigation into the matter, there’s been no evidence yet that the private server was hacked, even though it’s clear that attempts were made.

On Thursday, NBC’s Lester Holt pressed Trump on his claim that Clinton’s email had been hacked. Their exchange was amusing:

LESTER HOLT: You also made the claim that her e-mail, personal e-mail server, had been hacked, probably by foreign governments, suggesting that—

DONALD TRUMP: Well, you don’t know that —

HOLT: — as president —

TRUMP: — it hasn’t been —

HOLT: — well, wait a minute – but — suggesting that she would be compromised as president. What evidence do you have?

DONALD TRUMP: Well first of all, she shouldn’t have had a personal server, okay? She shouldn’t have had it. It’s illegal. What she did is illegal. Now she might not be judging that way because, you know, we — we have a rigged system. But what she did is illegal. She shouldn’t have had a personal server —

HOLT: But is there any evidence that it was hacked other than routine fishing —

TRUMP: I think I read that —

HOLT: — attacks?

TRUMP: — and I heard it and somebody —

HOLT: Where?

TRUMP: — that also gave me that information. I will report back to you.

We don’t hold our breath waiting for Trump to substantiate his claim.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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