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Obama: Russia May Have Leaked Democratic E-Mails To Influence Election

U.S. President Barack Obama said Russia may have leaked embarrassing Democratic party e-mails to influence the presidential election.

U.S. President Barack Obama said it is possible that Russia was behind a major leak of Democratic party e-mails last week and had the goal of influencing the U.S. presidential election.

"Anything is possible," Obama said in an interview with NBC News on July 26.

The leak of thousands of Democratic National Committee e-mails showing top party leaders favored Hillary Clinton's candidacy despite their vow to remain neutral in her primary contest with rival Bernie Sanders caused embarassment for Clinton only days before she was due to get the party's official nomination at a Philadelphia convention.

While the FBI is still investigating who hacked the Democratic committee e-mails and leaked them to Wikileaks, Obama said "I know that experts have attributed this to the Russians."

"What we do know is that the Russians hack our systems, not just government systems but private systems," he said.

"What the motives were in terms of the leaks, I can't say directly," he said, but "anything is possible," including it being an attempt by Russia to influence the U.S. election.

Obama pointed out that Clinton's Republican opponent in the White House race, Donald Trump, has "repeatedly expressed admiration for [Russian President] Vladimir Putin" and has said he wants to work more closely with Russia to solve global problems such as battling the Islamic State group.

"I'm basing this on what Trump himself has said, and I think Trump's gotten pretty favorable coverage back in Russia," Obama said.

With reporting by Reuters and NBC News
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