In an attempt to deflect criticism about mounting email and corruption scandals, the Clinton campaign may be using Russia as part of a misdirection ploy with the American electorate.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center in Columbus, Ohio, July 31, 2016. Photo: AP

According to a recent CNN poll, 68 percent of respondents said they did not believe that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is honest or trustworthy. A similar CBS poll revealed approximately the same number (67 percent) saying she is dishonest. Yet, even with these high disapproval rates, Clinton still tops Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in most polls when people are asked whom they would vote for President.

What makes someone cast a vote for a candidate they believe to be dishonest? The answer perhaps can be found in the intense scaremongering campaign involving Russia that the Democrats and the mainstream media appear to be carrying out during the American presidential elections this year.

The most recent chapter of this campaign is the attempt to implicate the Kremlin in the Democratic National Committee (DNC) email leak promoted by WikiLeaks.

“We know that Russian intelligence services hacked into the DNC and we know that they arranged for a lot of those emails to be released and we know that Donald Trump has shown a very troubling willingness to back up Putin, to support Putin,” Clinton said in an interview with Fox News.

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Such kind of statement, which in the past would not be taken into consideration or classified as one more of the “conspiracies theories” about Russia, is bizarrely being taken seriously. For a whole week analysts in the mainstream Western media discussed the statement from U.S. President Barack Obama that it is “possible” that Russia would try to sway the U.S. election.

Not only has Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, denied any Kremlin involvement in the leak, it has also been debunked by Israeli intelligence. This, according to an article published by Global Research quoting “an analysis by (its) intelligence and cyber defense sources.” They determined that the DNC email hack “almost certainly (was) not carried out by (Russia’s GRU) cyber warfare branch.” [The GRU, or the Main Intelligence Directorate, is Russia’s largest foreign intelligence agency – Editor’s note].

The Democrats have decided to use the same smoke screen narrative that has become a pattern in the media and in the highest political circles in the West: blame it on Russia. One month ago, for example, Russia was accused of influencing the UK EU referendum.

This smoke screen is being used, this time, to cover the traces of the unprecedented number of scandals involving Clinton’s campaign: from the protests of the disillusioned Bernie Sanders supporters to the leaked DNC emails. These have been widely ignored by the media, which has preferred to focus on the narrative of the “historical moment” that Hillary’s nomination represents.

In parallel with these events, the release of two serious documentaries that hit the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party did not catch the media’s attention, despite their success after being released. The first one is "Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party," from Dinesh D’Souza, which brought in $8.6 million in the first days of its release, according to Box Office Mojo.

“Clinton Cash,” a documentary based on the Peter Schweizer book, unveils the deep corruption and the self-enrichment of the Clintons via their foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative. This was released one week ago and a YouTube video clip from the film already has more than 1.2 million views.

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Julian Assange of WikiLeaks promised to release even more e-mails and said that he has information that could get Clinton imprisoned. Even if one believes in Assange’s veracity, the recent FBI case with Clinton’s personal e-mail server showed that it is highly unlikely that anything could be released by WikiLeaks that could be used in a criminal case against her.

The last resort would be to count on the mainstream media to distribute the information that is being released, and commit to a more serious discussion of the issues with the American public. In other words, to leave aside their ideological convictions and return to the basic mission and work of the press: providing accurate information without bias. Considering the most recent events, this seems to be an impossible scenario.

Against all odds, Trump still has a chance to consolidate his supporters before the fall presidential debates, considering the amount of “ammunition” he will have available and Clinton’s inability to connect with certain voter groups. The Republican nominee needs to use this advantage like in a chess game, abandoning for a while the populist speeches on “Muslims” and “Mexicans” that right now are secondary in comparison with the latest scandals.

The core Trump electorate will not change their minds. But can he change the minds of the people who plan to cast their votes for Clinton, even when they believe she is dishonest? If Trump is able to capitalize on this in his favor, he might just become the next U.S. president.

The opinion of the author may not necessarily reflect the position of Russia Direct or its staff.