Donna Brazile says Russians destroyed ‘critical’ DNC data
Donna Brazile said in an interview Tuesday that Russian hackers destroyed “critical data” when they breached the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Brazile, who served as interim DNC chair for a portion of last year, made the comments during an interview with Joe Madison on Sirius XM.
“We had so much shit in … our entire technology ecosystem that we couldn’t clean it up. Oh man, [those] Russians were on us like white on rice. I mean, they were, Joe, they were destroying data, critical data,” said Brazile, who is promoting her new book “Hacks.”
“I have a walk-in list for precinct 89 in Washington, D.C. I know precinct 89, right? And the Russians had went in there and corrupted all of our critical data,” Brazile said, referring to a voting precinct in the nation’s capital. “All of our critical data. So, I no longer trusted this damn list that I’ve had for … over 20 years of knowing every frequent voter, every Democratic voter.”
The DNC pushed back on Brazile’s comments, saying in a statement to The Hill, “Her allegation is inaccurate – there is no evidence the voter file was compromised.”
Brazile stepped in as chair of the DNC after Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) was forced to resign following the party’s convention in July 2016 as a result of controversy stemming from the hacked emails released online.
“We had to rebuild our entire system,” Brazile said Tuesday. “In two months.”
“And we weren’t even sure on Election Day if the data we were giving to people to do walks or calls, we were not even sure that it was clean,” she added.
WikiLeaks released troves of hacked DNC emails and, later, those stolen from the personal account of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta leading up to the 2016 election.
Russia is believed to have first infiltrated the DNC’s network in 2015. Last June, CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC, assessed that hackers associated with Russian intelligence were behind the cyberattack.
It was not until October of last year that U.S. officials publicly blamed the Russian government for directing the hacks.
The intelligence community released an unclassified assessment on the interference effort in January, saying Moscow’s aim was to sow discord, damage Clinton and aid President Trump. The assessment has triggered congressional and federal probes.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is currently investigating whether there was any collusion between affiliates of the Trump campaign and Russia.
– Joe Uchill contributed
Updated: 6:10 p.m.
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