Donald Trump Russia DNC Hacker Scandal Widens: Hacker Definitely Russian, Study Finds, As U.S. Intelligence Agrees

Jonathan Vankin

The scandal over the connections between Donald Trump, Russia, and the hacker or hackers who infiltrated the Democratic National Committee servers took a new turn on Tuesday as, according to a report in The New York Times, United States intelligence agencies said they have "high confidence" that the hack was the work of Russia.

The hacker who has claimed responsibility for the infiltration called himself "Guccifer 2.0" and claimed to be from Romania, but the U.S. intelligence agencies now dismiss that claim, saying "Guccifer 2.0" is actually an agent, or composite of agents, working for the Russian Main Intelligence Administration, also known as the G.R.U., the country's military intelligence arm and the largest spy agency in Russia.

— (@Salon) July 27, 2016

Donald Trump has repeatedly stated his admiration for Russian strongman leader Vladimir Putin, and many of Trump's stated policies — including his intention to sever NATO agreements — align closely with Putin's own policies.

For further background on the connections between Donald Trump, Russia, WikiLeaks and the DNC hacker, see the Inquisitr stories linked in the "Previous Coverage" box below on this page.

The following video report by The Washington Post also gives further details regarding the hacker scandal and what now appears to the involvement of Russia.

The precise mechanism by which the hacked emails reached WikiLeaks remains uncertain, the intelligence officials say.

A new investigation by the private cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect, and reported by the online magazine Daily Beast on Tuesday, also pointed the finger squarely at Russia for the DNC hack.

"Far from being a single, sophisticated hacker, Guccifer 2.0 is more likely a collection of people from the propaganda arm of the Russian government meant to deflect attention away from Moscow as the force behind the DNC hacks and leaks of emails, the researchers found," according to Daily Beast reporters Shane Harris and Nancy A. Yousseff.

Read the complete Daily Beast report on the ThreatConnect investigation at this link.

"Maintaining a ruse of this nature within both the physical and virtual domains requires believable and verifiable events which do not contradict one another. That is not the case here," the ThreatConnect study said, adding that the emails were released selectively to cause maximum damage to the Democratic party.

"Moscow determines what Guccifer 2.0 shares and thus can attempt to selectively impact media coverage, and potentially the election, in a way that ultimately benefits their national objectives," the report said.

— POLITICO (@politico) July 27, 2016

"What we do know is that the Russians hack our systems, not just government systems but private systems. What the motives were in terms of the leaks, all that — I can't say directly. What I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladi­mir Putin."


If indeed Vladimir Putin and the government of Russia are engaged in subterfuge to tip the 2016 U.S. presidential election toward Donald Trump, the implications are far-reaching and potentially enormous, experts say.

"A foreign government has hacked a political party's computers—and possibly an election," wrote Franklin Foer of Slate Magazine on Tuesday — comparing the DNC hack to Watergate. "It has stolen documents and timed their release to explode with maximum damage. It is a strike against our civic infrastructure."

"There is a national security issue at play here that transcends the squabbling of a political campaign, and Trump either can't see it or refuses to acknowledge it," wrote Salon political reporter Simon Maloy. "Instead, he welcomes it because, for the moment, he is the beneficiary of what appears to be foreign meddling in our political system."

Donald Trump is believed to have deep financial ties to Russia, but when asked by Newsweek magazine on Tuesday whether the candidate has any "outstanding loans with Russian banks or individuals," Trump's spokesperson replied that Trump has no business dealing inside of Russia, avoiding the question of whether Trump has accepted loans for Russia for business in the United States.

[Photos by Evan Vucci/Alexei Nikolsky/Getty Images]