The WikiLeaks release of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails has been easy fodder for Donald Trump and his supporters, pointing out the embarrassing political infighting, exposed election strategies, and Hillary Clinton’s once-secret Goldman Sachs speech transcripts.
But not for Marco Rubio.
“I will not discuss any issue that has become public solely on the basis of WikiLeaks,” Rubio said in a statement Wednesday. “As our intelligence agencies have said, these leaks are an effort by a foreign government to interfere with our electoral process, and I will not indulge it.”
Rubio went on to address his personal moratorium on WikiLeaks-related Clinton attacks at an event in Tampa, Florida, Politico reported:
“Just think about this: Do we really want to be a country where foreign leaders or foreign intelligence agencies can blackmail our elected officials and say to them that unless you do what we want you to do, we’re gonna release emails from your campaign manager, your wife, your daughter, your son, and we’re gonna embarrass you. So unless you wanna be embarrassed you better do what we want you to do. Is that what we want?” Rubio asked. “Because I’ll tell you that’s what Vladimir Putin does. [There’s] plenty of material in which to line up and take on Secretary Clinton. I think this one is an invitation to chaos and havoc in the future.”
But Rubio makes an important point — this could happen to anybody. This election cycle alone, we have seen leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and now Podesta.
And if the leak of Podesta’s campaign emails has taught us one thing, it’s that the release of private emails onto the internet can be very embarrassing — as expected when the internal frustrations, commentaries, and gripes of high-powered individuals become publicly accessible.
WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has long expressed animus toward Clinton — but who’s to say a Republican won’t be the next target?