Harris fundraises off report that campaign data was stolen by then-Steyer aide

Harris fundraises off report that campaign data was stolen by then-Steyer aide
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California Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Fox News anchor apologizes for saying Booker dropped out of 2020 race MORE's (D) presidential campaign is fundraising from a report that a former employee for the Democratic Party of South Carolina, now working for Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerPoll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Sanders reclaims second place in new 2020 poll Progressive group to spend as much as M to turn out young voters MORE's campaign, stole her campaign's South Carolina volunteer data

"We got some outrageous news last night," the Harris campaign said in an email to supporters, referring to a report from The Post and Courier.

"A staffer for Tom Steyer, a billionaire who has already spent tens of millions of his own dollars to boost his candidacy, stole our campaign’s data in South Carolina," the email continued. "Our organizers have spent months building one of the strongest operations in the state, so we were outraged to learn Steyer’s team had taken volunteer contacts — some of our campaign’s most valuable data — directly from the voter file." 

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The campaign then tried to appeal to supporters in the message, asking recipients for a donation.

"We’re counting on you to help us fight back" it read. 

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) told The Post and Courier that it caught Steyer’s deputy South Carolina State Director Dwane Sims trying to export Harris's campaign volunteer contacts. 

The Steyer campaign told the South Carolina newspaper that it does not have the data and that it proactively notified the DNC and the state's Democratic Party, suggesting that the data had been downloaded accidentally. The DNC and state party denied this. 

Steyer spokesman Alberto Lammers said that Sims “acted quickly to alert the appropriate people to rectify the matter.”

DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said, however, that Sims downloaded the data three minutes after notifying the party he had it.

“We are talking about 180 seconds in a system that is notoriously inaccurate,” Lammers said in response. “And the DNC is not disputing the key fact that our employee proactively approached them to inform them of the matter. The bottom line is that nothing would have taken place if the DNC had been more diligent about the security of voter data.”

The Steyer campaign said in a statement Monday that Sims resigned after an internal investigation. 

Reached for comment on the Harris campaign's fundraising move, Lammers referred The Hill back to the Steyer campaign's statement on Sims's resignation.

“The Steyer campaign takes this issue very seriously. When we first learned about the matter, we conducted an internal investigation and wiped Mr. Sims’ computer to make sure the data was completely deleted and that there was no access to other campaign data," said campaign manager Heather Hargreaves in the statement. "We understand the sensitivity and importance of this information."

“We apologize to the South Carolina Democratic Party and the DNC. Tom Steyer and the Steyer campaign extend our deepest apology to Senator Kamala Harris and her campaign,” Hargreaves added. 

--This report was updated at 3:12 p.m.