- A new book claims former President Barack Obama hired Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Romney
- Obama used law firm Perkins Coie to hide payment to Fusion GPS
- The Clinton campaign would later do the same thing to investigate Trump
Chuck Ross reports: The Barack Obama presidential campaign hired Fusion GPS in 2012 to dig up dirt on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a book released on Tuesday.
The Obama campaign hid its payments to Fusion GPS through its law firm, Perkins Coie. The arrangement is similar to the one that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee used to pay Fusion for its investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016.
Dossier ‘coincidences’ pile up
That contract led to the creation of the infamous Steele dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele.
“In 2012, Fusion GPS was hired to do opposition research on Mitt Romney for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign,” reads “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and Donald Trump’s Election.” Read the rest of this entry »
Cyberattacks linked to the Chinese government will be at the top of the U.S. agenda when President Obama meets with Chinese president Xi Jinping Friday in California. Chinese officials deny any role in the cyberattacks, but U.S. experts say the 2008 attack was a “wake up call.”
By Michael Isikoff
The U.S. secretly traced a massive cyberespionage operation against the 2008 presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain to hacking units backed by the People’s Republic of China, prompting high level warnings to Chinese officials to stop such activities, U.S. intelligence officials tell NBC News.
The disclosure on the eve of a two-day summit between the U.S. and Chinese presidents highlights what has become a persistent source of tension between the two global powers: Beijing’s aggressive, orchestrated campaign to pierce America’s national security armor at any weak point – in this case the computers and laptops of top campaign aides and advisers who received high-level briefings.
The goal of the campaign intrusion, according to the officials: to export massive amounts of internal data from both campaigns—including internal position papers and private emails of key advisers in both camps.
“Based on everything I know, this was a case of political cyberespionage by the Chinese government against the two American political parties,” said Dennis Blair, who served as President Obama’s director of national intelligence in 2009 and 2010. “They were looking for positions on China, surprises that might be rolled out by campaigns against China.
”The intrusion into the campaigns’ computer networks and subsequent efforts to penetrate them were highly sophisticated and continued for months after they were first detected by the FBI in the summer of 2008, according to the officials and an Obama campaign security consultant hired to thwart them. The intrusions and some details of what was targeted have been previously reported, but not publicly attributed to government-backed Chinese hackers.
Obama publicly referred to the attacks — in general terms — at a May 29, 2009, White House event announcing a new cybersecurity policy. “Hackers gained access to emails and a range of campaign files, from policy position papers to travel plans,” he said then.
But neither the president nor his top aides publicly spoke about the identity of the hackers, or the depth and gravity of the attack.
Officials and former campaign officials now acknowledge to NBC News that the security breach was far more serious than has been publicly known, involving the potential compromise of a large number of internal files. And, in one case, it included the apparent theft of private correspondence from McCain to the president of Taiwan.
President Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, tells NBC’s Michael Isikoff about the cyberattacks that infiltrated Obama’s campaign. At the time, Plouffe said, Obama’s reaction was one of surprise because there was no precedent for such an attack…
- Chinese hacked Obama, McCain campaigns, took internal documents, officials say (openchannel.nbcnews.com)
- China Hacked Into Obama, McCain Campaigns (joemiller.us)
- Chinese hackers reportedly stole Obama and McCain documents (news.cnet.com)
- Report: China Hacked Obama, McCain Campaigns In 2008 (huffingtonpost.com)
- Chinese hackers reportedly stole Obama and McCain documents (oddonion.com)
- Obama got hacked through Phishing Attack of Chinese Hackers (hackersnewsbulletin.com)
- Chinese Hackers Hacked Barack Obama (gizmodo.com)