Nearly Seven Months Went by Without Top DNC Officials Being Informed
There are manyÂ who believe that FBI Director James Comey‘s letter to Congress eleven days before the election announcing it had found emails on a computer shared by top Hillary Clinton advisor Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, is a defining moment that likely led to Hillary Clinton losing the election.Â
Here’sÂ FiveThirtyEight’sÂ Nate SilverÂ on the issue:
I’ll put it like this: Clinton would almost certainly be President-elect if the election had been held on Oct. 27 (day before Comey letter).
â€” Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 11, 2016
But it was another action the FBI took, or rather, inaction, 13 months earlier, in part, that led to the Comey letter which led to Clinton losing the election.
The New York Times reports the FBI in Sept. of 2015 contacted the Democratic National Committee to tell them hackers linked to the Russian government had infiltrated DNC computer systems. But the person, a tech support contractor the FBI contacted at the DNC took weeks to take the phone call seriously, in part because they weren’t sure the call was actually from the FBI, and not a prank caller.
“Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks. His first moves were to check Google for ‘the Dukes,'”Â The New York Times explains, referring to the name of the Russian hacking group, “and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion.”
“By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks â€” in part because he wasnâ€™t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.”
To be fair, the FBI did their job, they told the DNC they had been hacked. But it’s not unreasonable to think the FBI could have picked up the phone to call, say, then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, or another top DNC official, and not rely on a third-party private contractor who clearly was out of their depth. Why didn’t the FBI walk in to DNC headquarters?Â Or call someone who could direct appropriate action?Â
Even the Times places a portion of blame on the FBI, but what’s even more stunning is the amount of time between the point the FBI contacted the DNC andÂ top DNC officials were finallyÂ informed Russian government operativesÂ had hacked them: almost seven months.
“The low-key approach of the F.B.I. meant that Russian hackers could roam freely through the committeeâ€™s network for nearly seven months before top D.N.C. officials were alerted to the attack and hired cyberexperts to protect their systems,” the Times writes. “In the meantime, the hackers moved on to targets outside the D.N.C., including Mrs. Clintonâ€™s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta, whose private email account was hacked months later.”
There are many “what-ifs” and what’s done is done (although congressional investigations, which may not take place, are essential) but what’s clear is the FBI did not work especially hard to get the attention of top decision makers at the DNC, and the DNC clearly was horribly mismanaged.
One more reason, on top of all of these, that the DNC chairmanship must be held by a full time profession with no other job, like being a sitting Congressman.
Some responses via Twitter:
Astounding DNC technical naivetÃ© and mystifying FBI laxity are hallmarks of this tour-de-force on the hacks that have upended U.S. politics. https://t.co/xEQKnYZl5I
â€” Frank Bajak (@fbajak) December 14, 2016
Perfect Weapon: Russian Hackers Invaded U.S. through a 7 months comedy of errors between lazy FBI and DNC underling. https://t.co/iCxNTMkVkV
â€” Jerry Barrett (@JerryPolitex) December 14, 2016
Story also makes FBIâ€™s assertion that they canâ€™t say if the hack helped Trump quite laughable. They knew for 7 months, did little to stop it
â€” Jason Fagone (@jfagone) December 13, 2016
Low-key FBI approach let Russian hackers roam freely through DNC files for 7 months before DNC leaders were alerted. https://t.co/LyIFkUQlVg
â€” Warren Bass (@warren_bass) December 13, 2016
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Listen: GOP Candidate for Congress Says Garland Should ‘Probably’ Be ‘Executed’ – Later Claims He Was Just Being ‘Facetious’
New York Republican Carl Paladino, running for a U.S. House seat, said Attorney General Merrick Garland should probably be “executed” in a radio interview this past weekend, and later when pressed backtracked, claiming he was just being “facetious,” as The Buffalo News first reported.
“So we have a couple of unelected people who are running our government with an administration of people like Garland,” Paladino said in an attack on President Joe Biden in a Saturday interview with the far-right wing Breitbart media site.
Garland “should be not only impeached he should probably, should be executed, the guy is just lost,” Paladino said.
Paladino called Garland, a former U.S. Supreme Court nominee and former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a “lost soul” who is “trying to get an image and his image, his methodology is just terrible.”
“To raid the home of a former president is just, people are scratching their heads and they’re saying, ‘What is wrong with this guy?’ ”
Later in the interview Breitbart Radio host Matthew Boyle asked Paladino, “Carl, what you just said about Garland, you said you think ‘he should be impeached and probably executed.’ Can you explain that? What do you mean by that?”
“I’m just being facetious,” Paladino replied. “The man should be removed from office. He’s shows his incompetence. He wants to get his face in front of the people. And in short, he’s got some mettle to him, but his choice of issues and his choice of methodology is is is very sad. And then he wants to take full blame for it, you know he’ll he’ll stand there.”
Paladino, who is strongly endorsed by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the Chair of the House Republican Conference, has a long history of controversial remarks and actions.
Just last month the New York Post reported he “has a convicted sex offender on his company payroll who also now works as ‘assistant treasurer’ of his campaign.”
“Joel Sartori was controller of Ellicott Development when he was busted in 2013 for accessing child porn on a company computer,” The Post adds. “Sartori was convicted of two felonies — possessing and promoting kiddie porn — and sentenced to 10 years’ probation in 2017, court records show.”
As CNN has reported, Paladino has called Black people “dumb and hungry,” claimed they are “conditioned” to only vote for Democrats, while insisting he’s not “a racist.” He also said a woman who had accused Donald Trump of sexual assault “probably enjoyed” it.
Stefanik, the third most powerful House Republican, on June 3 praised Paladino as an “inspirational” leader, a “doer,” and “the kind of leader we need today.” That endorsement came just days before it was revealed Paladino in 2021 had called Adolf Hitler “inspirational,” and “the kind of leader we need today” (audio.)
Stefanik later doubled down on her endorsement despite Paladino’s praise for Hitler, a genocidal fascist responsible for the murders of approximately 17 million people.
As CNN also reported, in 2016, “Paladino had said he would like to see Michelle Obama ‘return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla,’ and that he hoped Barack Obama would die of Mad Cow Disease after having sex with a cow.”
Listen to Paladino’s remarks about Attorney General Garland below or at this link:
Image: Screenshot via Facebook
Trump’s Fundraising Off Mar-a-Lago Raid Hit $1 Million a Day – and It’s Still Higher Than Usual
When Donald Trump announced that the FBI was raiding Mar-a-Lago his fundraising operation went into high gear, and produced tremendous results: up to $1 million a day, and still trending higher than usual more than a week after federal agents removed 20 cartons including at least 11 sets of classified materials.
“Contributions to Trump’s political action committee topped $1 million on at least two days after the Aug. 8 search of his Palm Beach, Fla., estate, according to two people familiar with the figures,” The Washington Post reports, calling it a “cash bonanza.”
“The daily hauls jumped from a level of $200,000 to $300,000 that had been typical in recent months, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss nonpublic information,” The Post adds, noting more than 100 fundraising emails have been sent. “The donations stayed unusually high for several more days and are still above average, both of these people said, though they have leveled off in recent days. There are more contributors than usual, these people said, and the average donation has climbed.”
Describing the Mar-a-Lago themed fundraising emails as a “firehose,” The Post offered some examples: “THEY BROKE INTO MY HOME,” “They’re coming after YOU,” and “THIS IS INSANE.”
“One message included a poll asking, ‘Do you agree that President Trump is being politically persecuted?’ Another promised ‘an exclusive 1300% MATCH today only!,’ a common tactic used to encourage people to respond immediately.”
The Daily Beast last week reported Trump’s “campaign wants to cash in on his Florida residence being raided by FBI agents. ‘My home, Mar-a-Lago, was raided by the FBI,’ an early Wednesday morning fundraising email stated. ‘These are dark times for our Nation,” the message continued. ‘WITCH HUNT,’ another email sent out by Trump’s Save America PAC declared, while soliciting donations.”
Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license
‘A Perfect Call!’: Trump Rails Against Georgia Election Probe in Late-Night Truth Social Rant
Former President Donald Trump is posting vintage rants attacking investigators on his Truth Social platform.
In a late-night tirade, the former president lashed out against the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office just hours after Rudy Giuliani testified before a special grand jury that’s probing the Trump campaign’s efforts to illegally remain in power despite losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.
“So, let me get this straight!” Trump’s rant began. “In the Great State of Georgia, if you want to challenge or protest Election results in any way, shape, or form (despite the fact that in Atlanta, murders and crime are the highest in the Nation, with many people dying each month – at numbers never seen before), they will charge you and put you in jail. But if you kill people, you will quickly be set free to murder again. Isn’t there something ‘slightly’ wrong with this scenario? A PERFECT PHONE CALL!”
In fact, the grand jury is not probing Trump’s efforts to challenge the election results, but is rather investigating incidents such as his phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he pushed for Raffensperger to “find” 12,000 votes and “recalculate” the final vote tally.
In a separate post, the former president attacked the Washington Post for reporting that he was having trouble finding top-notch legal representation, as he is currently relying in part on a lawyer who previously worked as general counsel for a parking garage company.
“The WAPO story that ‘Trump is scrambling to add seasoned lawyers’ to the Mar-a-Lago Raid case is, as usual, FAKE NEWS,” he wrote. “I already have excellent and experienced lawyers – am very happy with them. This is highly political prosecutorial misconduct, I have not been charged with anything and, most importantly, I did nothing wrong. Thank you!”
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