Application security, Threat Management, Threat Intelligence

FBI rejects Trump’s claims that Chinese firm hacked Hillary Clinton’s server

An FBI official has denied an accusation echoed by President Donald Trump that Chinese hackers infiltrated Hillary Clinton's private server and accessed classified information.

"Report just out: 'China hacked Hillary Clinton's private Email Server.' Are they sure it wasn't Russia (just kidding!)?" Trump wrote in an Aug. 28 tweet, sarcastically alluding to the intelligence community's overwhelming assessment that Russian actors (not China) hacked the Democratic National Committee and blatantly interfered with the 2016 U.S. elections. "What are the odds that the FBI and DOJ are right on top of this? Actually, a very big story. Much classified information!"

Trump's accusation appears to refer to an Aug. 27 article published by the conservative outlet The Daily Caller, which claimed a U.S.-based Chinese firm acting as a front for the Chinese government infected Clinton's private server with code while she was Secretary of State, allowing snoops to access copies of nearly all her emails in real time. Citing two anonymous sources, the Daily Caller also claims that FBI officials failed to act after the Intelligence Community Inspector General's (ICIG) office reported the intrusion into Clinton's server in early 2015.

Trump appeared to be responding to this unverified report in his aforementioned tweet, as well as a follow-up tweet, which stated, "Hillary Clinton's Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, FISA, Dirty Dossier etc.), their credibility will be forever gone!"

In response, an unnamed FBI official said in a statement printed by NBC News, the Washington Post and other outlets that "The FBI has not found any evidence the [Clinton] servers were compromised."

The Daily Caller article also refers to a claim made last July by Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Tex., that a non-Russian foreign entity accessed Clinton's server. In a press statement, Gohmert challenged the FBI statement to NBC News, claiming the remark was intentionally misleading because "it was the Obama-appointed Intelligence Community Inspector General that discovered the breach. It was not the FBI that found it, so their statement was technically correct but very deceptive in its omission."

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Mass. dismissed the allegations as "nonsense," replying to one of Trump's tweets with a post that read, "Mr. President, you have at your disposal the resources of the nation's law enforcement agencies and intelligence community. Use them. (An FBI official today has rebutted this nonsense: 'The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised.')"

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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