Eight Facts on the “Russian Hacks”

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Above Image: The Kremlin, the Russian government’s power center

There’s no standing allegation by U.S. officials that the Russians (or anyone else) “hacked” into our elections system or altered vote counts.

So what are the allegations and facts as we know them?

The FBI and DHS released a brief joint report Thursday describing “Russian Malicious Cyber Activity.” It doesn’t include forensic proof of Russian government involvement in hacking efforts, but the administration is rushing a detailed, classified report to be delivered, at President Obama’s request, prior to President Trump taking office January 20.

The joint report can be summarized this way:

  • The U.S. believes two hacking groups tied to the Russian government are involved.
  • The U.S. has nicknamed the hacking groups “APT28” or “Fancy Bear,” and “APT29” or “Cozy Bear.” APT stands for “Advanced Persistent Threat.”
  • The U.S. believes the GRU, Russia’s military service, is behind APT28.
  • The U.S. believes the FSB, Russia’s counterintelligence agency headquartered in the building of the former KGB, is behind APT29.
  • The U.S. believes the groups accessed “a political party” by sending emails that tricked users into clicking links that planted malware or directed them to Russian servers.
  • The U.S. believes APT29 entered into “the party’s systems” in summer 2015, and APT28 in spring 2016.
  • The U.S. believes APT28 provided the stolen emails to WikiLeaks, which WikiLeaks denies.

Most of the 13-page joint report provides advice on how to secure computer networks.

Read the “Russian Malicious Cyber Activity” report

Eight Facts on the Hacks

1. The claim that the “election was hacked” is a bit of a misnomer. There’s no standing allegation by U.S. officials that the Russians (or anyone else) “hacked” into our elections system or altered vote counts. Instead, U.S. officials allege hackers connected to the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin, under his direction, stole internal emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary campaign chairman John Podesta and provided them to WikiLeaks. (However, the U.S. joint report issued Thursday doesn’t mention the DNC, Podesta or WikiLeaks by name.)

Podesta Emails on WikiLeaks
DNC Emails on WikiLeaks

2. U.S. officials have not alleged that anyone falsified the emails provided to WikiLeaks.

3. U.S. intel officials have named the Russian hacking campaign “Grizzly Steppe.”

4. It seems a difficult task to prove the hacks somehow “affected the election” or “helped Donald Trump win.” For example:

  • One would have to show that tens of thousands of Trump voters were planning to vote for Clinton but changed their mind based solely on the WikiLeaks emails.
  • One would have to believe the emails somehow managed to only affect the electoral vote but not the popular vote (which Clinton won).
  • One would have to believe the emails somehow selectively swayed voters in key swing states, but not voters in states where Clinton won.

5. WikiLeaks disputes the U.S. assessment blaming Russia for the DNC leaks. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says: “Our source is not the Russian government… We have U.S. intelligence saying that say they know how we got our stuff and when we got it, and us saying we didn’t get it from a state.” Former British ambassador Craig Murray backs up Assange’s version: “I know who leaked them. I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.”

6. The private cyber firm Crowd Strike had already determined last June that Russian agencies were behind the DNC cyberattacks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow

7. There have been many serious cyberattacks reported against U.S. government institutions, but no comparable news coverage or announced U.S. retaliatory measures. For example:

  • In 2015, Russian hackers attacked the State Department email system in what was called the “worst ever” cyberattack against a federal agency.
  • Also in 2015, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management reported 5.6 million Americans’ fingerprints were stolen in a malicious cyberattack.
  • The GAO reports that between 2006 and 2015, the number of cyberattacks climbed 1,300 percent — from 5,500 to over 77,000 a year at 24 federal agencies.
  • Last March, China government hackers continued a malicious pattern of cyber attacks on U.S. government and private networks, according to U.S. Cyber Command chief Mike Rogers. China has been linked by U.S. intelligence agencies to wide-ranging cyber attacks aimed at stealing information and mapping critical computer networks for future attacks in a crisis or conflict.

    Despite the Chinese hacking activity, the Obama administration has taken no action against China for years of large-scale cyber attacks that officials say have cost the nation billions of dollars in stolen intellectual property and compromised networks.

Additionally, there have been no publicly-known retaliatory actions taken by the U.S. for hostile, non-cyber foreign threats such as Chinese fighter jets buzzing U.S. warships and spy planes, and Iran detaining 10 U.S. sailors. (However, the U.S. punished the sailors.)

8. The New York Times recently quoted anonymous U.S. officials who said they concluded Russians hacked the Republican National Committee (RNC), but did not release the information to WikiLeaks, proving that the intent was to help Trump. However, the RNC states that its network systems were not successfully hacked. The Times also anonymously quoted a senior government official who said attempts to penetrate the RNC were not successful.

Preorder The Smear, the sequel to my NYT bestseller Stonewalled.

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Watch my weekly Sunday TV program Full Measure.

Full Measure is broadcast Sundays to 43 million US households on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telemundo and CW stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. Replays at FullMeasure.news anytime.

Full Measure is broadcast Sundays to 43 million US households on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telemundo and CW stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. Replays at FullMeasure.news anytime.

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93 Responses to “Eight Facts on the “Russian Hacks””

  1. Ron Johnson
    December 31, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

    I do not care who released the information, no one has said that the data is not true. Secrets beg to see the light of day. It is very frustrating to find out incompetent government officials and staffers get to decide what the general population is wise enough to know. Hooray for the leakers.

    • Joe Zeff
      January 6, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

      The most interesting part of this whole thing is the fact that nobody in the DNC or Ms. Clinton’s campaign has even tried to dispute the accuracy of the leaks. From what I can tell, the only thing they’ve been objecting to is having their private correspondence made public without their consent. I don’t know if they don’t see anything wrong with what they were doing or if they simply assumed that nobody would believe any denials that they issued. In either case, it says quite a bit about them, none of it good.

  2. Nathan Calfey
    December 31, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

    Sharyl Attkisson is splendid.

  3. Joe Dougherty
    December 31, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

    You pointed out one thing in item 8 that may be the key to this. There’s a big difference between attempting a system crack and succeeding at cracking a system (sorry, I don’t like the word ‘hack’ used in this context – all coders are hackers, but not crackers). I work in the IT world of web site and system security, and thousands of attempts to crack into the most benign systems are attempted daily. Most fail.

    There’s nothing secret about both Russian and Chinese attempts at getting into US systems of all types; this has been the case for decades. And some government systems have been sorely lacking in even the most fundamental security practices (the OPM crack is a prime example). But you can have a ton of digital evidence of attempted breaches and not have a byte of evidence that any information was actually accessed or taken.

    That being said, I tend to believe Assange and others who claim these were leaks, not cracks, and that the data was provided as a way to keep an unlikable candidate from succeeding at winning the presidency.

    What I find particularly ironic about all this is that the smartest candidate ever wasn’t bright enough to figure out what Mr. Trump did: that focusing your campaigning on specific states to convince voters that his platform was superior and winning those states, even by narrow margins, would be enough to put him over the top. Had people paid more attention to that then to this straw man of Russian intrusion and illicit data mining, there would have been a lot fewer surprised “experts” on election night.

    Keep up the terrific work.

  4. Gail Fleming
    December 31, 2016 at 4:19 pm #

    Ms. Attkisson,
    Thank you for keeping us informed with your true and accurate journalism. You are truly the epitome of what a journalist should be. I’ve read all your books and I watch Full Measure every Sunday morning. In my eyes you are a warrior fighting for the truth. Again, thank you!

    Warmly,

    Gail Fleming

  5. Patrick Quinn
    December 31, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

    Sharyl, thank you for your in depth research. Once again, your findings set the record straight..TRUTH wins out…

    • Mark
      January 4, 2017 at 6:06 pm #

      If the US Intelligence Community is so goo, then why is Anonymous not in jail?

  6. Mark B
    December 31, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

    Thank you for the summary. You prove once again to be one of the best sources of *reliable* information on the web!

  7. Sal Tru
    December 31, 2016 at 6:51 pm #

    Such clear and clean analysis! In this time where I see so many irrational arguments, sadly, from a lot of ‘smart’ women I’ve known, I find it refreshingly reassuring to hear your thoughts.

  8. Paul Sheridan
    December 31, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

    It seems you were punished for being a truth-telling, unbiased reporter who refused to become a sycophant. As a result you and your reporting have superior credibility.

  9. Eidolon
    January 1, 2017 at 8:25 am #

    Sharply Atkisson is a national treasure. Thank you for your courage and diligence.

  10. Rick Hassall (of Canada)
    January 1, 2017 at 8:32 am #

    Dear Ms. Attkisson: In my opinion, your Fact #4 is a weak argument. I believe that ALL of those hard-to-believe points DID truly happened…the information spread by WikiLeaks DID open many undecided and independent voters eyes to the truth of Clinton and the DNC.

    However, the salient point is NOT that “malicious activity by Russia” changed their votes, it was that finally obtaining the knowledge of the TRUTH about the “malicious Clinton/DNC machine” changed their votes.

    • sattkisson
      January 5, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

      Those were intended as examples of what we would have to know rather than arguments. To briefly elaborate, we would then have to know that those things outweighed the incorrect news coverage (which was much broader) about Trump on several key matters, and then we would have to know which affected more people etc. (to make the claim that Russia helped Trump win). In fact, people are making the claim without the knowledge necessary to make it.

  11. Paul Worden
    January 1, 2017 at 8:39 am #

    The whole Russian Hack has been and continues to be, a diversion to keep American’s minds and thoughts on anything other than the invasion taking place at our borders. With the help of Media, the Democrat Party, and both the GOP Senate and House, this diversion has been working wonderfully.

  12. Dave Kennedy
    January 1, 2017 at 8:44 am #

    Both of the “hacks” were well before Trump was the Republican nominee, so it’s hard to see how they were designed to help him.

  13. Deserttrek
    January 1, 2017 at 9:11 am #

    nice to see real reporting and investigation, not copying what another person wrote

  14. Doug Frantz
    January 1, 2017 at 9:36 am #

    Thanks for putting all this together. I noticed last night that NBC didn’t use the term “”hacked the election”, but instead referred to “hacking during the campaign”. Maybe they got pushback.

  15. Dennis Dee
    January 1, 2017 at 9:56 am #

    The APT 28 and 29 hacks began in 2015 when Few People thought Trump would win the GOP nomination so the claim the intent was to elect Trump is nonsense

  16. Tom Maguire
    January 1, 2017 at 9:57 am #

    Excellent overview and I have tremendous respect for your work, but… point 4 is weak.

    E.g., “4. It seems a difficult task to prove the hacks somehow “affected the election” or “helped Donald Trump win.”

    Well, they didn’t help, and there is a zero-sum dynamic here. Hillary’s collapse at the 9/11 ceremony, and subsequent pneumonia cover-up, surely hurt Hillary, but can anyone “prove” that that was the straw that broke the camel’s back? It took the cumulative impact of lots of straws for Hillary to squander her cash and media advantages.

    As to

    “One would have to believe the emails somehow managed to only affect the electoral vote but not the popular vote (which Clinton won).
    One would have to believe the emails somehow selectively swayed voters in key swing states, but not voters in states where Clinton won.’

    Why can’t I simply believe that WikiLeaks depressed Hillary’s vote totals everywhere, turning narrow wins into narrow losses and blow-out wins into easy wins?

    • sattkisson
      January 5, 2017 at 10:45 pm #

      right. the scenarios I posed were intended as examples of the sorts of knowledge one would need to “prove” Russia “hacked the elections.” Nobody has proven these things yet the claims are being made.

  17. Humpty Dumpty
    January 1, 2017 at 10:09 am #

    This Administration orchestrated accusation has had all the lasting impact of a swoon. The only people who care are the ones involved. Out here in the deplorable universe it is another micro meteorite going to ashes. SA has presented here the only credible and succinct examination of the debris field I have come across. It is keenly interesting to see how the many elements connect here and one is left with the secure feeling that yet again manipulation of reality was the primary objective by the Administration.. Nice work SA.

  18. Father Thyme
    January 1, 2017 at 10:23 am #

    Hi Sharyl.

    It should also be pointed out that the same agencies which now claim the Russians hacked the DNC server have also asserted that the private Clinton email server wasn’t penetrated. Is it really credible to believe a foreign adversary would pass up the unsecured confidential correspondence of the Sec. of State in favor of mundane political gossip?

  19. Jeffrey Clayton
    January 1, 2017 at 10:55 am #

    This is a great article, well done, great summary of the available information. Phishing e-mails sent to unclassified networks to insufficiently trained users is still any organization’s biggest vulnerability, followed by insider threat. I must take exception to your fourth point. The degree to which voters were or were not swayed by these disclosures is clearly a matter of degree; these e-mails might have been sufficient to sway some and not others. Also the Electoral College is – in a general sense – a form of popular vote… state by state; it is misleading to stay “One would have to believe the emails somehow managed to only affect the electoral vote but not the popular vote (which Clinton won).” I think that the DNC is resting much of their protestations on the fact that the GOP was not similarly exposed. Your other points are spot on.

  20. Mike Montie
    January 1, 2017 at 11:09 am #

    Thanks Sharyl. Once again you have the facts without the BS.

    I wonder if the Russians could have breached the DNC and Podesta’s emails but NOT been the source for wikileaks.

    What if, like wikileaks claims, some unhappy Sanders supporter leaked the emails? Does the the US have any evidence connecting the Russians to wikileaks, or are they assumed to be the source?

    • Bee Thomas
      January 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

      Like Seth Rich?

  21. csmats
    January 1, 2017 at 11:50 am #

    Ms. Attkisson is almost the sole source of real news amidst a tsunami of fake news by liberal “journalists” who just can’t get over the fact that Trump won in large part because We the People no longer trust their biased and in fact treasonous “reporting”.

  22. John Fembup
    January 1, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

    ” the RNC states that its network systems were not successfully hacked. The [New York] Times also anonymously quoted a senior government official who said attempts to penetrate the RNC were not successful.”

    So only the the DNC – my party, the Party of Smart – was hacked? Say it ain’t so!!

  23. AJ
    January 1, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

    As the media leaps to the “Russia influenced election results” meme, it leaves the false impression that the hack involves our government. Our government was not hacked or the victim of leakage (on this issue, anyway).

    If there indeed was a hack (certainly debatable), it was a hack into a political party (DNC/HRC campaign), which is not an arm of government (even if Democrats think it is).

    So a sloppily run political party wanted to take charge of an inefficiently run very large government. And the sloppiness disclosed distasteful things including dirty tricks, cheating and subterfuge. So voters said no. Redirecting blame fools nobody.

  24. Tom Grace
    January 1, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

    Thank you, Sharyl, for writing on this important subject. As I began reading the article it occurred to me that you are one of the very few sources I trust nowadays. Thanks for that more than anything.

  25. J. Blandings
    January 1, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

    Nice summary. Thanks again.

  26. John Ward
    January 1, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    Ideologies, religions and money ensure people think inside a matchbox. Just one small spark and BooooooooM.
    Great piece all the same.
    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/chandelon-autopsy-notes-on-the-application-of-whitewash-in-journalism/

  27. Steve DEWEESE
    January 1, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

    Good summary, but for a deep dive into why the government’s JAR report is anything but convincing please also read this tech report https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/

    In this article you will read that the malware example provided in the JAR as evidence of a Russian hack is actually an old version of Ukranian malware available for sale online. In other words, anyone could have purchased this malware. The IP list provided is also a red herring. Most of those are located in the US.

  28. Ellen from Wisconsin
    January 1, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

    Thanks so much for the summary and for the clarity of it. So helpful.

  29. Matthew Teague
    January 1, 2017 at 4:38 pm #

    Thanks Sharly–
    There are some great points here but I’m unclear on two of the points made regarding how the election may have been affected.

    In one point you say “One would have to believe the emails somehow managed to only affect the electoral vote but not the popular vote (which Clinton won).” But isn’t it entirely possible that it affected both? That Clinton would have won the popular vote by an even larger margin if not for the proposed leaks? Has anyone even proposed that the popular vote was not affected? (In the end, it doesn’t matter, as the popular vote is not how elections are determined.)

    You also say “One would have to believe the emails somehow selectively swayed voters in key swing states, but not voters in states where Clinton won.” Similar to the point above, there is no reason to assume that only key states were affected. Logically, it would have affected all states, but not necessarily to a degree that would cause Clinton to lose in all states.

    Just curious to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks.

    • sattkisson
      January 5, 2017 at 10:43 pm #

      Yes you are correct and there are many more scenarios and possibilities, such as that Trump was affected far more negatively by the much more widespread mainstream media coverage that included the false reporting that his wife once worked here illegally or the allegations by the NYT cover story about his treatment of women that the very women quoted disputed. The point was that these sorts of things would have to be proven to “KNOW” that “Russia affected our election,” and these matters seem fairly difficult to prove–and so far nobody has claimed to have done so.

      • steve
        January 8, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

        Are there rumblings about the intelligence community sandbagging Trump? Look at Schumer’s remark about what they could do if Trump doesn’t get in line.

  30. Lenny Schafer
    January 1, 2017 at 9:48 pm #

    WINNING RHETORIC – NOT
    Hillary Clinton did not “win” the popular vote. And Trump did not “lose” it. The popular vote for president is not a contest. Neither candidate raced to beat the other in this way. Find another consolation prize for the loser.

    • michael
      January 9, 2017 at 1:07 am #

      She should get a Participation Trophy.

  31. Curtis W. Martin
    January 1, 2017 at 10:05 pm #

    Ms. Attkisson, your forthright ambition and success to provide the truth, whichever way it may cut is such a tremendous help in forming rational insights. I have a very staunch conservative philosophy, but I have as much animosity toward establishment Republicans as I have toward socialist minded Democrats. Your straight forward reporting, provides a beacon for me to build a “balanced” opinion.

    I would really appreciate hearing you speak, if you do those types of Engagements?

  32. Maxwell
    January 2, 2017 at 12:01 am #

    Since most of this CIA assesment is based on opinions and not forensics, I have an opinion for ya’

    President Obama has never liked Benjamin Netanyahu, and as the media reported, Obama had interfered in Israeli elections and attempted to unseat Netanyahu.

    Russia had humiliated Obama by holding-off the US after Obama’s infamous ‘red-line’ threat to Assad by positioning a Russian ship off the Syrian coast. Putin also started to attack and defeat the terrorist/rebels that Obama had been arming and supporting to overthrow Assad.

    When the DNC and Podesta hacks occurred, the security firms involved discovered Russian code on their systems ..Obama already had an agenda against Russia and rushed to judgement calling-out Russia and his Agencies emphasized the ‘Russian code’ and they based their opinions on that code to support Obama’s narative.

    With that in mind ..what if was actually the Israeli Mossad that had used the Russian Code to target Democrats and damage their chances of remaining in power ..as retaliation? Leaving the Russian Code behind would direct the FBI’s attention towards Moscow and their known hacker groups, while Netanyahu could sit back and watch the headlines.

    Only after publicly targeting Russia for months the US realizes anyone could’ve used they Russian code, or perhaps forensic evidence did develop later leading them to Israel.

    Obama was in a position to either publicly apologize to Putin and humiliate himself again, or listen to the groundswell demanding he act against Russia ..which he did.

    But after learning it was likely Israel that had committed the hacking, Obama decided to seek revenge and used the UN to drive a knife in Netanyahu’s back to send him a personal message.

  33. Roy Stafford
    January 2, 2017 at 8:31 am #

    To quote an old refrain… “This is much ado about nothing”. As far as Russian’s hacking our government and political sites… what would one expect? It’s what “intelligence” gathering is all about. Seems everyone has forgotten or ignoring the incident where our intelligence agencies, under Obama, were hacking Angela Merkel’s party and the German government. And they’re supposed to be an ally! Mea culpa Obama said… Baloney!

    Just another example of elitists refusing to admit that it wasn’t the Russians… but a flawed, demonstrably dishonest, mendacious and possibly criminal candidate for the Presidency. Instead of admitting the obvious… they resort to the Flip Wilson defense…”Devil made them do it”.

    Time for them to “Move On”. Elections have consequences as stated by Obama… Time to pay the piper, of course they know that, that’s why they’re grasping at straws.

  34. RobertM
    January 3, 2017 at 5:51 am #

    Sharyl, I’ve worked in the intel field for over 30 years. To me, the “tell” here is that the FBI and CIA refuse to brief Congress. That indicates to me that they know that their full analysis would fall apart under the microscope of members such as Trey Gowdy et al.

    This is a political hit job by Obama.

  35. Michael
    January 3, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    I believe the reason for the retaliation in this case was because it was an attempt to influence an election (whether it actually affected the results or not). As for other non- election related acking events, I am sure that the US is also actively involved in hacking Russian and Chinese agencies. Since the article dealt with hacking, not sure why you included the buzzing of our ships by Chinese jets.

  36. Scott M
    January 3, 2017 at 11:09 am #

    Sharyl, a lot of reasonable points here but I’m going to quibble over the idea that we should be arguing the three hypotheses under item #4. None are necessary, and they dilute the argument.

    1. “tens of thousands of Trump voters were planning to vote for Clinton but changed their mind based solely on the WikiLeaks emails.”

    2. “emails somehow managed to only affect the electoral vote but not the popular vote”

    3. “selectively swayed voters in key swing states, but not voters in states where Clinton won.”

    On point #1, the more reasonable explanation is that the WikiLeaks revelations didn’t change many people’s mind from Clinton to Trump, it simply discouraged some small fraction of weakly-aligned Clinton supporters from voting at all. Basically convincing a few people to switch from “they’re both terrible, but Trump is worse, I’ll go vote” to “why even bother, I’ll stay home”.

    On point #2, not true — a uniform bump to Trump numbers (or drop to Hillary’s, see above) across all states fits the data just fine. Who’s to say that, the popular vote difference (which ended up at about 2.1%) wouldn’t have been even higher? Perhaps 3.5% or 4%.

    3. On point #3, how can we tell the difference? I certainly saw malaise among my Democrat acquaintances in CA, MA etc, just as much as in the rest of the country. Suppose an additional 1% of them decided not to waste their time voting — didn’t matter, Trump lost by 61/33 instead of 62/33. On the other hand, in Michigan and Wisconsin that 1% was enough to turn the tide, and in Florida and Pennsylvania 1% would have put the results damn close.

    The rest of the chain of argument stands — but I think it’s very clear that the leaked material “affected the election” and “helped Donald Trump win”. We shouldn’t dispute that point.

    • Oddnot (@AnotherQuidam)
      January 9, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

      The e-mails did not depress Hillary’s voters or turnout. She did. Mook’s computer models were based on Obama’s data and though they knew the enthusiasm was not there for Hillary, they nonetheless took as a given the assumed to be blue firewall states which Trump flipped to victory. Despite ballot stuffing in Detroit and other ‘rat enclaves, she was a lousy candidate and inspired no one. Furthermore, Hillary was relying on low information voters who believed the 91% negative press against Trump and didn’t have a clue about this whole DNC/Podesta e-mail kerfuffle, being focused on Kim Kardashian’s butt. If she lost any potential voters, it was some Bernbots that did pay attention and were pissed at her cheating and collusion with the DNC. Finally, what is the viewership of RT? They had no role in the election. This
      Russian Hack” garbage is as fraudulent as the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” meme out of Ferguson. Sheesh.

  37. Azuri
    January 3, 2017 at 7:29 pm #

    Podestas actually was compromised twice. The 2nd time he left his phone in a DC cab and never changed his password which was in the first Podesta wikileak and in his smugness got compromised again, lol. They posted on his Twitter: I’ve switched sides voting for Trump /hi pol. Screen ahoots of tweet and other proof available.

  38. Bob
    January 3, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

    What makes Sharyl an authority? A TV program, an author? There was NOT one fact in the supposed 8 “facts” in the article. This is reporting? Pityful! If indeed there has been a hack of the RNC, as has been widely reported, that information is/will/can be used as blackmail against our newly elected president. Can you imagine what RNC emails looked like when the entire Republican establishment was out to defeat Trump? This could get very interesting if Trump agitates Putin.

    PS If the Clinton emails put our security in jeopardy, then lets’s get them released so we can all read them, and not just the Russians.

  39. Bob
    January 4, 2017 at 6:33 am #

    refreshing to get to read an article that has NO political bias to it. Being very familiar with Cyber security and ‘hacking’ and internet security, these items shown reflect the facts of how things actually function. Wish we had more honest, factual journalists out there, we are in a very short supply.

  40. px fragonard
    January 4, 2017 at 9:05 am #

    The bit of fact that can’t be gotten around is that, if the Russians really affected the outcome of the election, why only in some states and not others? This story’s purpose is to keep people out of jail. And Obama is involved. At the least, he sent emails under an alias to Clinton’s private server. That he knew he was doing wrong is proven by the fact that they were from an alias account.

  41. Antonio Rodriguez
    January 4, 2017 at 11:10 am #

    With regards to your point 4, you state:
    “One would have to show that tens of thousands of Trump voters were planning to vote for Clinton but changed their mind based solely on the WikiLeaks emails.”

    They wouldn’t have to be Trump voters necessarily; they may have been Hillary voters prior to the leak, but they stayed home on Election Day because they didn’t care for either candidate after the information was revealed.

  42. David McConville
    January 4, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

    With Attkinsson logic talks, BS walks.

  43. Z
    January 4, 2017 at 4:46 pm #

    Ms. Attkisson (thanks, by the way)….It’s refreshing to read your work and see you in TV news discussions (I wish you were on more)….thanks for offering nonpartisan, in depth, excellent journalism. I wish more people could read the 8 points you offer….It’d be so good get back to honest journalism and wake people up to the truth.

  44. Sharon Mcgriff
    January 5, 2017 at 12:04 am #

    The Democrats need to take their Prozac and get over it.

  45. BillB
    January 5, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    The RNC computers were probably hardened to prevent the DNC from hacking them rather than the Russians, as that would be expected and normal operations for the Progressives.

  46. Mike Ferguson
    January 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

    Well, one thing we know for sure. Attkisson has more credibility than anyone in Russia and the Democrat party.

  47. Eric
    January 5, 2017 at 6:01 pm #

    That the Obama admin. would take the type of retaliatory measures they have against Russia, only now, speaks very strongly to the possibility of nothing more than political motivation. They were reticent to act in the face of real cyber aggression but are acting now to shore up a political narrative.

    Only continued reporting by real reporters will shed light on the truth. Thanks Sharyl.

  48. wilt wiltfong
    January 5, 2017 at 6:11 pm #

    csmats: Research it for yourself. If that’s too onerous, read her book, Stonewalled. Ms. Attkisson looks for truth and has not exactly been a friend to the Obama administration.

  49. Neo
    January 5, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

    There is no mention of WikiLeaks in the 13 page document. There is …
    “The U.S. Government assesses that information was leaked to the press and publicly disclosed.”
    … but that is a far cry from proof or an allegation of proof, so I have to dispute your last bullet summarizing the joint report.

  50. Hurricane567
    January 6, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    “U.S. officials have not alleged that anyone falsified the emails provided to WikiLeaks.””One would have to believe the emails somehow selectively swayed voters in key swing states, but not voters in states where Clinton won.” So Hillary is a scum sucking bottom feeder and, if you live in CA or NY, you might be, too. Apologies to Issa and King, though.

  51. Etienne
    January 8, 2017 at 9:13 am #

    Some curious aspects of this whole thing: 1) There have been countless hacking attempts by many nations, many proxies, and many individuals–why the indignant response by the administration now?; 2) Considering Obama himself tried to interfere with elections in Israel, it seems the pot is calling the kettle black; 3) In testimony before Congress Clapper appears to have already perjured himself by declaring that communications of Americans were not “hacked” by the government, without warrant or probable cause–is he really a credible witness in this case?; 4) What was revealed is what good investigative reporting would have revealed, if most of them were not totally in the tank for Clinton; 5) The primary purpose of this seems twofold: a) Try to discredit and diminish Trump; b) Drive Clinton scandals and ineptitude out of the news cycle.

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