Donald Trump may be finding plenty of fodder to attack Hillary Clinton after the recent WikiLeaks email dumps but a former rival of the billionaire, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, says talking about the files is off-limits.
“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, who is running for reelection to the Senate in Florida, told ABC News Wednesday. “Further, I want to warn my fellow Republicans who may want to capitalize politically on these leaks: Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us.”
That stand contrasts Trump, who has brought the leaks up on the campaign trail repeatedly in an attempt closing a polling gap that has grown to seem increasingly insurmountable. Trump brought up the leaks Tuesday at a rally in Colorado, noting: “WikiLeaks has provided things that are unbelievable. The media, you have to remember, is an extension of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It’s an extension. And without that, she would be nowhere.”
If past is prologue, Trump will take advantage of Wednesday evening’s final presidential debate to bring the issue up again in front of a much larger audience. He hasn’t been shy about doing so before: He brought up email scandals during both of the first two debates and questioned whether the Russians had been responsible for the hacking that brought the emails to the forefront (the FBI says that Russians are almost certainly responsible).
Either way, Trump has quite a lot of ground to make before Election Day if he wants to win the election. Trump trailed Clinton in averages of national polls compiled by Real Clear Politics by 6.5 percent Wednesday afternoon before the debate. That is a steep drop from just before the first debate when he had nearly caught up to Clinton and trailed by just 1 point.