NSA Chief: WikiLeaks Hacks of Democrats’ Emails Were a “Conscious Effort by a Nation-State”

The Russians did not leak those emails “by chance.”


The WikiLeaks release of internal emails from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign constituted a “conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect,” the head of the National Security Agency said Tuesday.

“There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s mind,” NSA Director Michael S. Rogers said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. “This was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily.” Rogers acknowledged in October that Russians were behind the hacks.

News that the DNC had been compromised broke earlier this June, when hacker Guccifer 2.0 released a trove of documents containing campaign emails and memos—most notably emails implying that the committee favored Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary. The release of the emails led to the resignation of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

WikiLeaks also published thousands of emails from John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chair. Though Russia was long suspected of being behind the hacks, US officials did not formally accuse the Russian government of orchestrating the cyber attacks until October. In November, just four days before the election, DNC officials told Mother Jones they had found evidence that the DNC headquarters may have been bugged and had submitted a report to the FBI.

Watch the video of Rogers’ full remarks above.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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