Senate intel leaders seek FBI briefing after NRCC hack compromises GOP committee

December 6, 2018 GMT

Senators seeking details about the recently disclosed National Republican Congressional Committee hack said Wednesday that they will ask the FBI for a briefing on the breach.

The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee told journalists that will ask the FBI for information about its investigation into the incident that compromised the fundraising arm of congressional Republicans, Politico reported.

“We’ll get a briefing on that,” Chairman Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican, told the outlet.

Committee members “absolutely” want to speak with the FBI about the hack, said Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat.


Mr. Warner, the committee’s ranking Democrat, said he was “not even sure which foreign country” was responsible for the hack, Politico reported.

“Too often countries see disarray in America as their goal,” he said. “At the end of day, they’re not in favor of Republicans over Democrats, they’re in favor of disrupting our country.”

The FBI did not immediately return a request for comment.

Politico firstreported Tuesday that the NRCC suffered a “major hack” prior to the Nov. 6 midterm elections that resulted in thousands of sensitive emails being stolen.

The breach was detected in April, but congressional Republicans including Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana said they were unaware of the incident until being notified by Politico this week, the outlet reported.

“The NRCC can confirm that it was the victim of a cyber intrusion by an unknown entity,” a public relations firm hired by NRCC said in a statement. “The cybersecurity of the Committee’s data is paramount, and upon learning of the intrusion, the NRCC immediately launched an internal investigation and notified the FBI, which is now investigating the matter.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the NRCC’s Democratic counterpart, was compromised over two years earlier by alleged Russian state-sponsored hackers. The Justice Department has since determined that the hackers behind the DCCC breach leveraged stolen user credentials to subsequently compromise Democratic National Committee computer system and steal internal emails later leaked online during the 2016 U.S. presidential race.

Leaders of the NRCC and DCCC were previously involved in unsuccessful negotiations held prior to last month’s midterm races that would have resulted in both groups agreeing not to use hacked or stolen material.