Trump accuses China of hacking Clinton server, no evidence

Donald Trump initiated circus has tweeted claims from a right wing media source of ‘mixed’ factual reliability that China hacked Hillary Clinton’s server, and has urged the FBI to act or “their credibility will be gone forever!”, but the FBI have responded with this very brief statement:

“The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised.”

Two contrasting headlines:

Fox News: Chinese company reportedly hacked Clinton’s server, got copy of every email in real-time

A Chinese state-owned company reportedly hacked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server, then inserted code that forwarded them a copy of virtually every email she sent or received after that — a revelation President Trump is demanding be investigated.

The Daily Caller reported that the firm operating in the D.C. area wrote code that was then embedded in the server and generated a “courtesy copy” for almost all her emails — which was then forwarded to the Chinese company.

The code reportedly was discovered in 2015 by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), which then warned FBI officials of the intrusion.

A source briefed on the matter confirmed to Fox News the details of the Caller’s reporting, and said that the ICIG was so concerned by the revelation that officials drove over to the FBI to inform agents — including anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok — of the development after it was discovered via the emails’ metadata.

The source told Fox News the hack was from a Chinese company, describing it as a front for Chinese intelligence.

A second source briefed on the matter told Fox News that officials outside of the FBI indicated code on the Clinton server suggested a foreign source was receiving copies of emails in real time.

The hacking report caught the attention late Tuesday of President Trump, who warned that the FBI and DOJ should act or “their credibility will be forever gone.”

NPR had a different angle: Trump Says Without Evidence That China Hacked Clinton Email Server

President Trump tweeted early Wednesday that China was behind a hack of former presidential opponent Hillary Clinton’s emails, in an apparent reference to an article published by the conservative Daily Caller website.

China denied the allegation.

The article, by reporter Richard Pollack, cites two anonymous sources and says a Chinese-owned company based outside of Washington, D.C., “hacked Hillary Clinton’s private server throughout her term as secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails.”

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind a campaign to influence the 2016 election and was responsible for the hacking of emails of the Democratic National Committee as well as for Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

The subject of the Daily Caller’s article is separate from that hack.

So the allegation seems to be that China hacked Clinton’s email server as well as Russia.

“The FBI spent thousands of hours investigating, and found no evidence of intrusion. That’s a fact,” the Daily Caller quoted Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill as saying. “But in an age where facts are alternative and truth isn’t truth, it’s no surprise that an outlet like the Daily Caller would try to distract us from very real and very immediate threats to our democracy brought by the man occupying the White House.”

“This isn’t the first time we’ve heard similar kinds of allegations,” Hua Chunying, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday. “China is a staunch defender of cybersecurity. We firmly oppose and crack down on any forms of Internet attacks and the stealing of secrets,” she added, according to Reuters.

Trump said in April 2017 that it “could have been China, could have been a lot of different groups” behind the hack of Democratic emails that has been blamed on Russia.

Washington also reported on this initially, but followed up a few hours later: FBI pushes back on unfounded Trump claim that China hacked Hillary Clinton’s email

The FBI on Wednesday pushed back on an unfounded claim by President Trump that Hillary Clinton’s emails were hacked by China, saying it had found no evidence that the private servers she used while secretary of state had been compromised.

Trump provided no details about the alleged hacking, but his tweets came shortly after the online publication of a story by the Daily Caller asserting that a Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington area hacked Clinton’s private server while she was secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails. The publication cited “two sources briefed on the matter.”

Fox News, which is frequently watched by the president, aired a segment on the report Wednesday night, with a guest calling it a bombshell if true.

Asked about the president’s assertions, the FBI provided a statement Wednesday afternoon that simply said: “The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised.”

An FBI spokesman declined to comment on Trump’s call for the bureau to make a “next move.” A spokesman for the Justice Department also declined to comment.

In a July 2016 statement, Comey said the FBI “did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked.” But, he added: “Given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence.”

A lengthy Justice Department inspector general report released in June criticized the latter part of Comey’s statement, saying that while forensics agents could not say with 100 percent confidence that Clinton’s servers had not been compromised, they were “fairly confident” that there wasn’t an intrusion.

Trump’s calls to investigate Clinton and other real and perceived political adversaries have grown louder as the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election continues.

Media Bias/Fact Check on Daily Caller:

These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward conservative causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage conservative causes.

Factual Reporting: MIXED

Trump has also tweeted over the last few hours:

New Poll – A majority of Americans think that John Brennan and James Comey should have their Security Clearances Revoked. Not surprised!

“The Obama people did something that’s never been done…They spied on a rival presidential campaign. Would it be OK if Trump did it next? I am losing faith that our system is on the level. I’m beginning to think it is rotten & corrupt. Scary stuff Obama did.” DOJ

“Hillary Clinton and the DNC paid for information from the Russian government to use against her government – there’s no doubt about that!”

Tucker Carlson is on Fox.

“Anonymous Sources are really starting to BURN the media.” The fact is that many anonymous sources don’t even exist. They are fiction made up by the Fake News reporters. Look at the lie that Fake CNN is now in. They got caught red handed! Enemy of the People!

When you see “anonymous source,” stop reading the story, it is fiction!

That’s quite ironic given that the Chinese hacking claims made by Daily Caller and Fox were based on anonymous sources.

It seems curious that Fox seems to be getting ‘briefed’ by similar or the same sources as Daily Caller.

Me on Donald Trump:

Factual tweeting: very mixed, very biased towards trump causes and conspiracies.

 

Whale Oil down

The Whale Oil server is currently down (since at least 7:10 am Wednesday as reported by Loki, I hadn’t checked WO this morning, they have little of interest early in the morning).

WhaleOilDownOct15

Websites and blogs sometimes go down due to unexpected technical issues, it’s happened to Kiwiblog and The Standard from time to time.

So this could be a minor technical blip.

But it does remind one of a time in January last year when Whale Oil went down when it was under attack, and was hacked, which led to Dirty Politics.

UPDATE at 7:24 am – having justed posted that Whale Oil is back up again.

But it’s taking a looonnngg time to load 7 comments.

Disqus seems to be taking longer than usual. Reload?

Pete the Mod has a vague explanation:

Hi there. Did you miss us? Seems the forces of evil still haven’t given up trying.

Nige the Mod has added:

Good work keeping the place going Pete. You do a fantastic job behind the scenes that most will never know.

Loki says (in comments here) he noticed it was down at about 2 am.