The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says Russian hackers have been bipartisan, targeting both parties’ national committees.
However, the claim promptly denied by the Republican National Committee and later partially walked back by the lawmaker himself — Rep. Michael McCaul, Texas Republican.
“It’s important to note, Wolf, that they have not only hacked into the DNC but also into the RNC,” the Texas Republican told host Wolf Blitzer in the initial CNN interview.
“They are not discriminating one party against the other. The Russians have basically hacked into both parties at the national level and that gives us all concern about what their motivations are,” Mr. McCaul said.
But within minutes, RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer had taken to Twitter to rebut the claim.
“Contrary to reports, there has been no known breech [sic] of networks,” Mr. Spicer said.
Mr. McCaul himself then issued a statement clarifying his remarks, acknowledging that he was wrong about the RNC but correct in his broad point that Russian hacking has been bipartisan.
“I misspoke by asserting that the RNC was hacked. What I had intended to say was that in addition to the DNC hack, Republican Political Operatives have also been hacked,” he said.
Some Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters, embarrassed by revelations in hacked Democratic National Committee emails have accused the Kremlin of interfering in U.S. politics by trying to aid Republican Donald Trump.
Even to the extent both parties or their officials have been targeted,there haven’t been any leaks to the press of RNC officials trying to tilt the primary race or disparaging a candidate based on religion, as has happened with the DNC emails.