by Luke Rosiak
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper seemed to lack a grasp of basic details of the hack that led to WikiLeaks publishing the Democratic National Committee’s emails, and WikiLeaks said Friday that “Clapper gets literally everything wrong.”
“In April, Russia used a third party ‘cut-out’ to send more than 19,000 DNC emails and more than 8,000 documents to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, attempting to cover its tracks and to give WikiLeaks some degree of deniability in knowing the source of the leaks,” Clapper wrote in his new book “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From a Life in Intelligence.”
Wikileaks shot back on Friday:
The published DNC emails go through to May 25–making “April” an impossibility. There are 44,053 emails, not 19,000. There are 17,761 documents, not 8,000. Clapper gets literally everything wrong–but admits he doesn’t know who our sources are.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 15, 2018
Of the 27,500 DNC emails WikiLeaks published, fewer than 7,000 pre-date April 29, as The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.
DNC CEO Amy Dacey learned of the breach in late April and brought in the private cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike. But CrowdStrike’s presence did not stop the flow, and the majority of the emails weren’t even written, much less stolen, until after the company was already on the scene. Most of the emails were written between May 5 and May 25.
The DNC declined to give its server to the FBI as evidence, and the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community relied in part on CrowdStrike’s private analysis to form its conclusions about the hack — despite the company taking weeks to stem the bleeding.
CrowdStrike Services President Shawn Henry is a retired executive assistant director of the FBI. Co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is a Russian expatriate.
Clapper, who left government on Jan. 20, 2017, said that by the time he left office, U.S. officials had identified a “cut-out”, or middleman, selected by Russian intelligence to pass 19,000 stolen DNC emails to WikiLeaks in April 2016. WikiLeaks has said it did not get the emails from Russia.
WikiLeaks’ Friday response to Clapper mentions “sources,” meaning there were likely more than one. It also refers to “published” emails, whereas Clapper referred to emails being “sent” to WikiLeaks. It’s possible that, if Clapper’s statement is accurate, there could have been more emails sent in April that WikiLeaks did not publish or that there was another source Clapper monitored but was not the origin of what WikiLeaks ultimately published.
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