FBI Says Democrats Refused Access to Hacked E-Mail Servers
Michael B Marois
January 5, 2017, 10:17 PM EST
The Democratic National Committee rebuffed requests by federal agents to inspect computer servers that had been breached last year during the presidential campaign, forcing them to rely on third-party cyber security data to investigate the hack, the FBI said.
The revelation came hours before U.S. intelligence chiefs are set to brief President-elect Donald Trump on their assessment that Russia was behind the attack. On Capitol Hill Thursday, they rejected Trump’s repeated skepticism about their findings that senior Russian officials were to blame for the hacking and leaks of e-mails from Democratic officials and organizations backing Hillary Clinton.
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The FBI Thursday released a statement confirming Trump’s claim.
“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” the agency said. “This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.”
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey are scheduled to brief Trump Friday.
While intelligence agencies hadn’t previously confirmed that the DNC refused to provide access to its computers, they had disclosed that they depended on private cyber security companies.
Calls to the DNC press office were not immediately returned.
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