The computer hacker or group of hackers known as “Guccifer 2.0” claimed on Tuesday afternoon to have hacked into the files of The Clinton Foundation and released several documents, including donor lists.
The authenticity of the documents remains unconfirmed, and in fact, has been called into question, and Clinton Foundation President Donna Shalala called the hack a fake.
Some observers pointed out that it appeared odd for the foundation to actually include a folder titled “Pay to Play,” immediately making the supposedly hacked documents appear less than authentic. See the following list of folders which Guccifer 2.0 claims to have accessed.
By later in the day, journalists such as Philip Bump of the Washington Post were openly ridiculing the Guccifer 2.0 claim of hacking the Clinton Foundation.
“Many of you have been waiting for this, some even asked me to do it,” the hacker or hackers wrote on its web site. “So, this is the moment. I hacked the Clinton Foundation server and downloaded hundreds of thousands of docs and donors’ databases. Hillary Clinton and her staff don’t even bother about the information security. It was just a matter of time to gain access to the Clinton Foundation server.”
Here are the documents that “Guccifer 2.0” posted on its web site Tuesday, claiming to have taken them from internal Clinton Foundation servers. Note that some email addresses of private individuals have been removed.
The exact significance of the posted documents is unclear. The document posted last, above, appears to suggest some connection between possible donations to the Clinton Foundation, and an amount of TARP funds paid. TARP is the Troubled Asset Relief Program, often known as the “Wall Street Bailout” of 2008.
But what the significance of the numbers might be remains a mystery. Guccifer 2.0 offers no attempt at an explanation.
The documents seem to imply some connection between donations to the Clinton Foundation and the receipt of federal funds through the TARP program. But the TARP funds were largely distributed during the George W. Bush administration — and why a Clinton Foundation document would make such an explicit connection seems puzzling to say the least. As does the existence of a folder labeled “pay to play.”
The ultra-conservative political site Gateway Pundit interpreted the documents to mean that, “DEMOCRATS FUNNELED TARP FUNDS BACK TO THEIR PACS! That’s tax-payer bailout money that went right to the pockets of Democrat PACs!”
But the posted documents appear to contain no evidence of any such activity.
The Guccifer 2.0 site also linked to databases which it said contained a massive file of Clinton Foundation documents, about 820 megabytes worth according to conservative site The Daily Caller.
“As you can see, the private server of the Clinton clan contains docs and donors lists of the Democratic committees, PACs, etc. Does it surprise you?” the hacker web site says.
“Guccifer 2.0” also took a moment to pass kind words on to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
“P.S. I’m pleased to congratulate Wikileaks on their 10th anniversary!!! Julian, you are really cool! Stay safe and sound!” the site said.
Following the hack of Democratic National Committee servers and the leak of internal documents in July — a hack also carried out by independent security experts quickly traced the hack back to agents believed to be working for the Russian government.
“Far from being a singly, sophisticated hacker, Guccifer 2.0 is more likely a collection of people from the propaganda arm of the Russian government,” The Daily Beast reported at the time, “meant to deflect attention away from Moscow as the force behind the DNC hacks and leaks of emails, the researchers found.”
United States officials have “high confidence” that Guccifer 2.0 is a front for state-sponsored Russian hackers, according to a report on the Politico site.
While the repeated leaks attributed to Guccifer 2.0 have been directed exclusively at the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton — and Republican Donald Trump not only has financial ties to Russia but has publicly praised Russian strongman Vladimir Putin — Trump at the September 26 presidential debate scoffed at the suggestion that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian agent or agents.
“[Hillary Clinton is] saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t know. Maybe it was. It could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It could also be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds,” Trump said.
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