Leaked NSA documents which show that Russian hackers targeted election data just days before the election took place, contradict what former President Obama told the public.
At a conference last December, Obama claimed that he had brought an end to Russian hacking by September, when he told Russian President Vladimir Putin to “cut it out,” with warnings of “serious consequences” if the cyber attacks continued. Obama assured the public that the confrontation had brought an end to Russian interference in the election.
“What I was concerned about in particular was making sure [the DNC hack] wasn’t compounded by potential hacking that could hamper vote counting, affect the actual election process itself,” said Obama. “So in early September when I saw President Putin in China, I felt that the most effective way to ensure that that didn’t happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out and there were going to be serious consequences if he didn’t. And in fact we did not see further tampering of the election process.”
As reported in the Daily Caller:
But NSA documents published by The Intercept on Monday revealed that as late as October 31 or November 1, hackers launched an election-related spearfishing operation “targeting U.S. local government organizations.”
In other words, Russia was still tampering with the American electoral process after Obama said they ceased doing so. The documents’ authenticity has been confirmed by U.S. officials, and the U.S. Department of Justice charged on Monday the woman who leaked the Top Secret documents to The Intercept.
The leaked documents reveal that two other election-related hacking efforts were launched in October — one month after Putin supposedly “cut it out.”
The success of the hacking operations is unclear, but their existence appears to directly contradict Obama’s claim that his warning to Putin resulted in no further election-related meddling. Furthermore, the leaks indicate that Russia went after the exact target — voting processes — that Obama supposedly stopped them from targeting.