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CHINADAILY Editorial

No credibility to Trump's China-hacking tweets: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-08-30 21:14
US President Donald Trump. [Photo/IC]

"Report just out: 'China hacked Hillary Clinton's private Email Server.' ... Actually, a very big story. Much classified information!" tweeted United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning.

Obviously, that was not enough for an excited Trump, so he tweeted again, three hours later, "Hillary Clinton's Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China," adding that the credibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice will be forever gone" if they fail to act on it.

To the thinking person, there are few things more disconcerting than a tweet by the US president as they initially seem to accord to reality but then quickly turn into messages from some alternative universe.

But of course, there is method behind his Twittering. Although the Chinese Foreign Ministry has denied the allegation, that will not deter the US president from smearing China's image as he desperately needs a scapegoat in the run-up to the midterm elections, so he can divert public attention from the troubles the White House has become mired in.

And China, against whom he is launching a trade war, is an easy candidate for that role, since it has long been demonized by US politicians. Now we have heard his proponents warning about possible Chinese meddling in the US midterm elections, and the US president himself blaming China for his failure to maneuver progress in relations with Pyongyang.

Although, to be fair, it is not just China that Trump is maligning. The FBI and DOJ have also had their integrity impugned.

An FBI official, quoting a June report by the DOJ inspector general, told the media following the US president's Twitter messages, that "the FBI investigation and its forensic analysis did not find evidence that Clinton's email server systems were compromised".

Trump, as president, is fully aware of such conclusions.

It is ironic that just hours after spreading the allegation, the US president admonished people on Twitter that stories based on anonymous sources are "fiction" — the story alleging a Chinese-owned company hacked Hillary Clinton's private server was published by a right-wing newspaper based on anonymous sources "briefed on the matter".

Based on both his own definition and from the perspective of the FBI investigation, what he has just resorted to is fiction. Since his supporters have shown a willingness to suspend disbelief, we can no doubt look forward to more such tales.

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