Trump Hammers DNC For Failure to Turn Hacked Server over to DHS, FBI

AP Photo/Jim Cole
AP Photo/Jim Cole

President Trump on Thursday morning questioned why the Democratic National Committee (DNC) refused to turn over its hacked server to the FBI and refused help against hacking from the Department of Homeland Security after former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson appeared at a House hearing the day before.

Johnson testified to the House intelligence committee as part of its investigation on Russian interference and any collusion with the Trump campaign.

He told lawmakers that, while Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to orchestrate cyber attacks on voting systems in order to influence the election, it did not work.

“To my current knowledge, the Russian government did not through any cyber intrusion alter ballots, ballot counts or reporting of election results,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he was not in a position to know whether a Russian government-directed hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) altered public opinion and subsequently the election.

Johnson also said the DHS had offered the DNC protection against cyber attacks but that they had refused. He said when he reached out to the DNC, they had already been in contact with the FBI and did not need the DHS’s assistance.

He also said he could not explain why the DNC did not turn over its hacked servers to law enforcement, instead allowing a private company to look at it.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), a member of the committee, criticized the DNC for refusing the DHS’s help and suggested they were trying to hide something.

“Typically, the reason is, there is something else you don’t want law enforcement to see. There is no reason to not allow DHS to patch or fix a vulnerability in the DNC system. Heaven knows there is no reason to not give the world’s premier law enforcement agency, which is the FBI, the evidence they may need to stop another attack from hurting someone else,” he said on Fox News Channel’s The Story after the hearing.

Democrats have argued that Russia’s hack of the DNC and top Hillary Clinton aide John Podesta’s emails and their subsequent release on WikiLeaks contributed to Clinton’s loss and that Trump colluded with Russia to win the election.

During the hearing, Democrats asked why Johnson had not said something earlier about Russia’s attempts to influence the election. Johnson said he tried, but voters were focused on other things and that former President Obama was worried about appearing to influence the elections.

As Trump noted, several former top intelligence officials had said there is no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said, by the time he left in January, there was no evidence of collusion. Although he later said he was not aware of an FBI counterintelligence investigation into collusion, any evidence from that did not rise to a level where intelligence agencies included it in a January report on Russian interference.

And Mike Morell, a Clinton ally and former acting CIA director, has also said there is no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia.

“On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all,” he said at an event in March sponsored by the Cipher Brief. “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”

Similarly, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is looking into Russian interference, told CNN last month that there is still no evidence of any collusion.

“Do you have evidence that there was in fact collusion between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign?” CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer asked her.

“Not at this time,” Feinstein said. She told CNN two weeks later, on May 19, that nothing had changed.

Also on Wednesday, Acting Director of Undersecretary of National Protection and Programs Directorate at DHS Jeanette Manfra told the Senate intelligence committee that 21 states were targeted in the presidential election but that “no votes were changed,” according to Fox News.


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