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If Trump leaks are OK and Clinton leaks aren't, there's a problem

By       Message Trevor Timm       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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From The Guardian

Julian Assange
Julian Assange
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The 2016 presidential campaign isn't turning out to be the Facebook election, as some people have dubbed it. More than anything else, it's now the Election Dominated By Leaks.

In the final month of the race, the Clinton and Trump campaigns' main attack points now revolve around several major leaks that have put their opposing candidate on the defensive. Both campaigns or their supporters have been actively encouraging leaks about the other side, while claiming leaks involving them are either illegitimate or illegal.

Either way, it's yet another example of why leaks are very much in the public interest when they can expose how presidential candidates act behind closed doors -- and the motivations of the leakers shouldn't prevent news organizations from reporting on them.

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Donald Trump's campaign has been rocked by two major leaks in particular: his 1995 tax return to the New York Times, which showed an almost billion-dollar "loss" that could have allowed him to avoid paying taxes for almost two decades, and the leak of the now notorious video to the Washington Post, where Trump appears to admit to sexual assaulting women.

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At the advent of the tax story, Trump's lawyer immediately threatened legal action against the New York Times. Former Trump campaign manager and CNN's resident Trump sycophant Corey Lewandowski said the paper "should be held accountable," adding: "I hope he sues them into oblivion for doing this."

Yet they couldn't be happier with the hacked emails from Clinton's campaign manager that were leaked to WikiLeaks and published late last week. Trump cited WikiLeaks twice during the debate on Sunday, and declared "I love WikiLeaks" on Monday. Previously he had (perhaps jokingly, perhaps not?) called on Russia to release the deleted emails from Clinton's private server if they had them.

The leak of the video, meanwhile, has sparked rumors that many more tapes of Trump saying things far worse exist. In less than two days, a crowdfunding effort has raised over $33,000 for more damaging Trump videos. Mark Burnett, the producer of The Apprentice and an alleged close friend of Trump, reportedly threatened to sue anyone on his staff who leaked more videos (though he later denied making those remarks).

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