Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Not A Chance It Was By Chance

Observe due measure," the ancient Greek poet Hesiod urged, "for right timing is in all things the most important factor."

And so it was that at a charity luncheon Tuesday, Hillary Clinton (as noted by Politico) maintained

I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28th and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off. And the evidence for that intervening event is, I think, compelling, persuasive.

Clinton seemingly took solace in the fact that her campaign “overcame a lot,” she said, such as “an enormous barrage of negativity, of false equivalency and so much else.” And she cited polling guru Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, who said Clinton would “almost certainly” have become president if not for FBI Director James Comey’s October letter to Congress that shook up the race in her opponent’s favor.

Fact check: On January 19, 2017 Silver wrote "the Comey letter corresponded with a sharp decline in Clinton's polling, of a large enough magnitude to change the election result.  The media gave disproportionate attention to the Comey letter and other e-mail related stories."

The imperial "we" (I) rate Clinton's statement "true."

Politico continued

“Within an hour or two of the Hollywood Access tape being made public, the Russian theft of John Podesta’s emails hit WikiLeaks. What a coincidence,” Clinton sarcastically said. “So, I mean, you just can’t make this stuff up. So did we make mistakes? Of course we did. Did I make mistakes? Oh my gosh, yes. You know, you’ll read my confession and my request for absolution.”

Clinton's awful theology (biblically, absolution already has been accomplished for all believers) is mere snark. More seriously, she is suggesting the WikiLeaks leak was intentionally released promptly after the Hollywood Access tape was made public.  On that date, Time had noted

The bombshell dropped on the Washington Post’s website just after 4 p.m.: a video of Donald Trump, in 2005, using extremely vulgar language to describe women, detailing his attempt to bed a married woman and bragging that he can grope women because he is a celebrity. Less than an hour later, Wikileaks published more than 2,000 emails from what appeared to be the personal account of the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Although that does not prove the two were related, consider also that on October 7

In a joint statement, the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence said, “The US Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations… We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.” But two other stories dominated the news cycle: WikiLeaks began publishing stolen e-mails from the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, and Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tapes became public.

CBS News posted online at 4:03 p.m. that day the report from Homeland Security and the DNI.  The Washington Post, via a tweet from investigative reporter David Farenthold, revealed existence of the Access Hollywood tape at the exact same time.  Approximately one hour later, Wikileaks announced it had received 50,000 emails from the account of Clinton campaign chairperson John Podesta, whereupon it released 2,050.

Clinton believes it was more than coincidence that the Wikileaks material was released immediately after Trump's sex tape. Proof is lacking but, given the leak of WikiLeaks so soon after both the tape and the announcement of Russian involvement in the election came out, there is little or no chance it was mere coincidence. And "little" is on its way out-of-town.

We rate Hillary Clinton's speculation "mostly true." And it generally takes a whole lot of tweets from the guy who beat her before he can come up with two as valid as Clinton's claims.

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