Internal memo obtained in Democrat hack used by GOP in attack ad

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

The official fundraising wing of House Democrats accused its Republican counterpart of aiding the Russian government Tuesday after the GOP used a leaked Democratic Party document as ammo in a new ad.

The attack ad released Tuesday makes use of an internal memo that first appeared last week alongside other files purportedly stolen after hackers breached the computers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) — one of several entities affiliated with the Democratic Party to be compromised recently amidst a party-wide cybercampaign largely blamed on the Russian government.

The ad is the product of the National Republican Congressional Committee and takes aim at Randy Perkins, a Democrat running for Congress in Florida’s 18th District who is described by its narrator as a “corrupt” candidate unfit for office, Political reported Tuesday.

“Even Democratic Party bosses are questioning his character,” the ad’s voiceover says later on as an unflattering excerpt courtesy of a hacked DCCC memo appears on screen.

Kelly Ward, the DCCC’s executive director, lashed out at the National Republican Congressional Committee within hours of the ad’s release.

“National security experts are in wide agreement that Russian state actors have conducted a massive cyber attack against key institutions in our nation’s democracy. The NRCC is now stooping to a shocking new low and using unverified documents provided by the Russians – who are known to fake and doctor materials – to try to influence federal races. By using these documents in an attack ad, the NRCC is aiding the Russian government in their effort to influence American elections,” Ms. Ward said.

Katie Martin, a spokeswoman for the NRCC, responded Tuesday by acknowledging that allegations concerning Mr. Perkins were reported by local news prior to the ad’s release this week.

“The DCCC shouldn’t blame us for the fact that their handpicked candidate, Randy Perkins, is a well-documented shady businessman,” she told Politico.

Along with other stolen DCCC files, the Perkins memo was first published on a blog operated by an individual known only as “Guccifer 2.0.” Several U.S. cybersecurity firms have suggested that the DCCC hack and a similar breach suffered by the Democratic National Committee have been the consequences of a Kremlin-run campaign, and U.S. intelligence officials recently concluded with “high confidence” that Russians had hacked the Democratic party. Moscow has adamantly denied these claims.

The FBI announced on July 25 that it had opened an investigation after the DNC’s servers were hacked and thousands of emails were published online by WikiLeaks. It’s subsequently been reported that the DCCC was breached as well, in addition to more than 100 email accounts belonging to various Democratic officials and organizations.

On Monday this week, Guccifer 2.0’s blog was updated to include several new files concerning the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania.

“I received a great number of messages from my followers asking to release more and more docs on various states. Pennsylvania is the most frequently requested state,” wrote the person behind the blog.

Included among the files is a memo purportedly from DCCC Political Director Ian Russell to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, in which he raises doubts about the party’s nominee for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 6th District, Mike Parrish.

“His 2016 campaign is struggling to build support and raise money. Parrish withdrew from the race before the primary in 2014. DCCC is currently working with EMILYs List to recruit another Democrat into the race,” Mr. Russell wrote in Dec. 2015, according to the memo. Indeed, one of three Democrats running in the state’s 7th District, Lindy Li, dropped out of that race the following month in order to challenge Mr. Parrish in the neighboring 6th, reportedly upon urging of local and state party leadership. She withdrew in April.

Mr. Parrish’s campaign for Congress did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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