Tim Kaine shrugs off WikiLeaks email threat

Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine says he's not worried that he will be embarrassed by stolen emails released by WikiLeaks, which US officials say is part of a Russian propaganda campaign.

Josh Reynolds/AP
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine, of Virginia, speaks to The Associated Press during an interview in Boston on Saturday.

WikiLeaks has twice warned Tim Kaine that he might be in for a "surprise" – but the vice presidential candidate says he's not worried. 

Despite multiple warnings from the organization that has been steadily publishing stolen emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta, Mrs. Clinton's running mate says he isn't threatened by the possibility of his correspondences going public, since he is a "regular human being" with nothing to be "overly embarrassed about." 

Nasty emails are "not my norm," the Democratic vice presidential nominee told the Associated Press on Saturday, adding, "I do have a temper so, I mean, I imagine I've got an email or two out there that people might find unusual." 

In the weeks since WikiLeaks began publishing Mr. Podesta's messages, Kaine has repeatedly questioned the authenticity of the messages, arguing that the email hack was orchestrated by the Russian government in an attempt to influence the US presidential election. Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, he said the emails were part of a Russian propaganda effort. The Clinton campaign has not otherwise suggested that the emails were doctored.

In the midst of scandal and controversy surrounding Republican nominee Donald Trump's comments about women and allegations of sexual assault concerning Mr. Trump, the leaked messages have received relatively little attention, as Peter Grier reported for The Christian Science Monitor last week: 

A week and a half into the WikiLeaks organization’s steady release of communications stolen (perhaps by Russian hackers) from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, their net effect appears to be small, at least so far.

Few political minds appear to have changed as the result of their content. Clinton supporters, along with a number of mainstream media pundits, see the emails as confirmation of Clinton’s sober and perhaps too-cautious public persona. Clinton opponents view the same stuff as bombshells that expose the rot within her campaign. 

Speaking with the Associated Press, Kaine said he was aware that he may be the next target, but is refusing to let the threat distract him in the final weeks before Nov. 8. 

"I've been very good in my political life of not letting people throw me off my game," he said. 

This report contains material from the Associated Press. 

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