PHILADELPHIA – Former 2016 presidential candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley told PJM that the “real outrage” of the Democratic National Committee e-mail scandal is that Russia hacked the DNC to help GOP nominee Donald Trump.
O’Malley also said he is open to serving as DNC chairman after Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) stepped down amid the leak fallout.
PJM asked O’Malley how Clinton is going to be able to bring Sanders’ supporters to her side after the leaked DNC emails showed favoritism toward Clinton during the primary process. O’Malley said the Democratic Party platform is more progressive than expected.
“For my own part, I’m far more outraged about the fact that the Russians are burglarizing the Democratic National Committee headquarters. I mean, this is outrageous. When President Nixon had burglars do it before the age of the Internet, it brought down a presidency. And I think, as Americans, more of us should be concerned about why it is that Russians would be attacking the Democratic National Committee,” he said.
“Why do they want to play a role in this election and strengthen Donald Trump’s hand? I believe it’s because Donald Trump is the only candidate in modern times to call for weakening NATO. The Russians want NATO to be weaker. They want America to be weaker and that’s why they want Donald Trump, and I think that’s the deal,” he added.
O’Malley said Russia has been “stalking” U.S. embassy staff around the world and using their digital “prowess” to hack and leak email systems.
“The Russians are involved in this presidential race. The Russians are trying to skew this race, shade this race and help Donald Trump in this race. Why? Because Donald Trump wants to weaken NATO and Russia wants to expand its buffer zone and its zones of influence, and it’s outrageous. If we want to be outraged – if we want to protest about something we should protest about Putin and the Russians being involved in this presidential race on behalf of improving Donald Trump’s chances.”
Republicans have been critical of Clinton’s Russia “reset” button comment. O’Malley said the Russians know Clinton is tougher than Trump.
“They know how tough she is. Putin doesn’t care for Hillary Clinton and he knows that every bully like Donald Trump is really a weakling in disguise. Donald Trump is not a tough guy. Tough people don’t pick on the vulnerable,” the governor said.
“They don’t pick on immigrant groups or people with disabilities or women, so Putin would much rather have Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton in the White House. Why? Because Hillary Clinton is tougher – that’s why he has his people involved in trying to embarrass the DNC on the eve of Hillary Clinton’s nomination,” O’Malley added.
O’Malley told PJM he would be open to serving as DNC chairman.
“Look, if Secretary Clinton wanted me to do that and the party wanted me to do that, I would certainly do that. I’m going to be campaigning as hard as I can all through the fall and I think it’s important that we unify and we rally and we move forward and so this is a great party. We are an inclusive party. We are a party that oftentimes has lots of disagreements, but we’re the party that is best able to move America forward in these times,” he said.