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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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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