Podesta brothers “could Drain The Swamp,” Trump says
Former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta claimed he’s the subject of a “lie campaign” directed at him by the President of the United States.
Podesta on Tuesday alleged he was the “victim of a massive cyber crime” orchestrated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and asserted he was now being unfairly targeted by President Trump.
“Not bad enough that I was the victim of a massive cyber crime directed by the Russian President,” the failed campaign head tweeted. “Now I’m the victim of a big lie campaign by the American President.”
The former Bill Clinton chief of staff was responding to tweets made by President Trump referring to his brother’s recent departure from the lobbying firm the Podesta Group in light of a Justice Department probe.
On Tuesday, President Trump commented via Twitter that the media had ignored one of the most “earth shattering” stories Monday concerning John’s brother, Tony Podesta, who left the lobbying group he founded amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
“The biggest story yesterday, the one that has the Dems in a dither, is Podesta running from his firm. What he [knows] about Crooked Dems is earth shattering,” Trump tweeted, adding, “He and his brother could Drain The Swamp, which would be yet another campaign promise fulfilled. Fake News weak!”
Tony Podesta reportedly stepped down from his lobbying firm Monday as two former Trump associates were indicted on money laundering charges which stemmed from decade-long business dealings with the Ukraine government.
The investigation into [Tony] Podesta and his firm grew out of investigators’ examination of [former Trump campaign manager Paul] Manafort’s finances. Manafort organized a PR campaign on behalf of a nonprofit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. Podesta Group was one of several firms that were paid to do work on the PR campaign to promote Ukraine in the U.S.
Podesta’s “massive cyber crime,” for which he blames Russia, refers to the 2016 hack of his Gmail account, which researchers have attributed to him or another staffer opening a phishing email containing a malicious Bitly URL link.
In the days leading up to the November election, the open-government transparency organization Wikileaks slow-dripped a trove of embarrassing Podesta emails exposing internal Clinton operations which were not meant for public eyes.
Several of Podesta’s other online accounts were subsequently hacked, most notably his Twitter account which shot off a tweet stating, “I’ve switched teams.Vote Trump 2016.Hi pol.”
Podesta followed up his victimization tweets by claiming Trump seemed “a lot more worried now than July 2016 when he asked the Russians to hack our campaign,” referring to the time during the 2016 presidential race when the Republican nominee said he hoped Russia would locate Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 deleted emails.
He also responded to critics by blaming Infowars host Alex Jones for the infamous Pizzagate conspiracy, concocted after researchers located several questionable emails amid the leak.