Closing off his tweeting on Thursday evening, the president-elect questioned why the Democratic National Committee did not reportedly cooperate with the FBI's investigation of hacks into its servers; a hack which the US intelligence agencies were quick to conclude was the action of Russia despite, allegedly, not having seen all the evidence.
As Bloomberg reports, while the DNC says the FBI never requested access to its servers after they were breached, a senior law enforcement official said the FBI repeatedly asked for access "only to be rebuffed." If the FBI itself never examined DNC servers, Trump wrote on Twitter, "how and why are they so sure about hacking"?
"What is going on?" Trump added.
The Democratic National Committee would not allow the FBI to study or see its computer info after it was supposedly hacked by Russia......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
So how and why are they so sure about hacking if they never even requested an examination of the computer servers? What is going on?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
The FBI Thursday released a statement confirming Trump’s claim.
“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated," the agency said. "This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier."
Earlier in the week DNC spokesman Eric Walker told BuzzFeed this week that while the DNC had several meetings with FBI agents, FBI officials "never requested access" to DNC servers.
“The DNC had several meetings with representatives of the FBI’s Cyber Division and its Washington (D.C.) Field Office, the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices,” he said, adding, “the FBI never requested access to the DNC’s computer servers.”
And according to BuzzFeed, no U.S. intelligence agency has done an independent forensics analysis on the servers. Instead, the FBI has relied on an analysis from CrowdStrike, the third-party security firm that investigated the DNC breach.
However, as The Hill notes, a senior law enforcement official on Thursday disputed the DNC's characterization that the FBI never requested access to the DNC servers.
Separately, at the same time Trump criticized leaks to several media outlets detailing contents of a classified report on alleged Russian hacking of the presidential election. The leaks came before Trump’s own briefing on those details by the intelligence community. The 50-page report was delivered to US President Barack Obama on Thursday, and is to be delivered to President-elect Donald Trump on Friday by top intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, the Washington Post reports, one of several outlets that were given priority over the president-elect in learning the details of the document.
CNN and NBC News also reported on the classified report, sparking outrage from Trump.
“How did NBC get ‘an exclusive look into the top secret report he (Obama) was presented?’ Who gave them this report and why? Politics!” Trump said in a tweet.
How did NBC get "an exclusive look into the top secret report he (Obama) was presented?" Who gave them this report and why? Politics!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
According to the reports, US spies cited as evidence of Russian interference intercepted communications between Russian officials who called Trump’s victory a geopolitical success for Russia. The report also said that US intelligence identified the ‘go-betweens’ who allegedly handed over stolen Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks. The US media did not name those individuals or explain how they were linked to the Russian government.
Many Russian officials made no secret of their preference for a Trump presidency after his surprise win in November. The Russian parliament even stood and applauded at the news. The president-elect is perceived by many as capable of restarting relations with Russia with a clean slate, while his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton was blamed for policies which in part have led to numerous conflicts between Russia and the US.
Early this morning, Wikileaks also chimed in on the topic, not surprisingly taking Trump's side.
The Obama admin/CIA is illegally funneling TOP SECRET//COMINT information to NBC for political reasons before PEOTUS even gets to read it.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 6, 2017