Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, thinks allegations of Russian hacking in the 2016 election constitutes an “act of war,” but it’s not important enough to turn over servers associated with the scandal for investigation.
Trump highlighted the missing DNC server, and the party’s unwillingness to allow federal investigators to examine it, during a historic meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.
“We have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. … Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee, I’ve been wondering that. I’ve been asking that for months and months and I’ve been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media,” Trump said.
“Where is the server? I want to know: Where is the server?”
Perez wasn’t interested in answering that question when interviewed by CNN over the weekend.
CNN’s Natalie Allen posed the question, and Perez dodged and ducked for cover.
“President Trump suggests there was some nefarious reason the DNC didn’t turn over its computer servers after the hacking was discovered, and in fact in January 2017 the FBI said the DNC had rebuffed its request to examine computer servers. Have you since then given the FBI or special counsel investigators access?” Allen questioned.
Perez wouldn’t answer directly, but insisted the DNC “cooperated fully.”
“The DNC cooperated throughout,” Perez said, alleging Trump’s criticism “is another effort to distract from the matter at hand. And the matter at hand is that the Russians, they not only hacked the DNC, they hacked the (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee), they attempted to infiltrate secretaries of state, and boards of elections.
“They were successful in one state getting … roughly a half a million individual names and personal information,” he said. “And they did this so that they could attempt to swing our elections. That is an act of war, and if we had a Democrat in the White House right now, we would have a cabinet that’s dealing with this.”
Allen tried again to talk about the missing evidence of the alleged hacking, but Perez wasn’t interested.
“Has the DNC done everything in its power to make sure this doesn’t happen again, and to get to the absolute bottom of what happened?” she asked Perez. “Have you turned over the DNC servers?”
“We have cooperated from day one, we continue to cooperate, and again, all you need to do is read the testimony of then (FBI) director (James) Comey when he was in front of Congress,” he said. “This is again another red herring …”
Regardless, according to NBC News’ “Fact Check,” federal investigators were never allowed to properly inspect the DNC’s server, and were instead forced to rely on information provided by the party’s IT people.
“The FBI did not examine the DNC servers – after allegations that they had been hacked by the Russians – and says it was rebuffed by the DNC in efforts to do so. The DNC insists the FBI never asked to see the server,” the news site reports.
“The FBI had been warning the DNC that hackers were trying to compromise its servers for months, but DNC officials hired a private security firm to look into it, reportedly in hopes of handling the breach privately amid a presidential campaign and the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”