Following claims by the Democratic National Committee that they were never contacted by the FBI to access their hacked servers, the FBI hit back today and said that they were in fact rebuffed by the DNC and that it ended up delaying their investigation.
After Buzzfeed reported on Wednesday that Eric Walker, the deputy communications director for the DNC, told them the “FBI never requested access to the DNC’s computer server” despite several meetings, a source told CNN it was actually the other way around.
“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,” a senior law enforcement official told CNN. “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.”
Due to this action, the FBI had to rely on information from a third-party tech security firm, CrowdStrike, to issue its report. An FBI source told Buzzfeed that CrowdStrike “is pretty good. There’s no reason to believe that anything that they have concluded is not accurate.”
Meanwhile, a DNC source had an interesting take on the fact that the FBI wasn’t able to access their servers before issuing its report.
“I just don’t think that that’s really material or an important thing,” the source continued. “They had what they needed. There are always haters out here.”
Following the release of the CNN report today, President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to question whether or not the DNC was hacked and the Russians were behind the efforts. Intelligence leaders attended a Senate hearing today about the hackings. Trump is scheduled to meet with the heads of the intelligence community tomorrow to go over their findings.
Trump has continuously expressed skepticism that Russia attempted to hack the election, despite the consensus of the intelligence community. Recently, he seemingly sided with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over the country’s intelligence agencies.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that intelligence agencies were able to intercept communications from senior Russian officials where they celebrated Trump’s win and congratulated themselves on their efforts.
[image via screengrab]