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FBI pushes back on Trump’s false claims about Clinton’s email server

"The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised."

FBI pushes back against Trump's false claims about Clinton's email server. (Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
FBI pushes back against Trump's false claims about Clinton's email server. (Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

The FBI on Wednesday pushed back against President Trump’s claim that Chinese hackers had infiltrated Hillary Clinton’s private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State and stolen emails containing sensitive information.

On Tuesday evening, Trump latched onto a spurious report from the Daily Caller, which claimed a Chinese-owned company had hacked Clinton’s server and “inserted code that forwarded copies of Clinton’s emails to the Chinese company in real time.” The report cited two anonymous sources briefed on the matter.

“Report just out: ‘China hacked Hillary Clinton’s private Email Server,'” Trump tweeted at the time. “Actually, a very big story. Much classified information!”

In a follow-up tweet a few hours later, Trump suggested Justice officials needed to investigate the report, in order to maintain their credibility. “Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ,” he wrote. “Or after all of their other missteps…their credibility will be gone!”

Wednesday afternoon, however, FBI officials issued a statement on the matter, speaking with both ABC News and Fox News and contradicting the Daily Caller report.

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“The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised,” an official told Fox News Justice Department reporter Jake Gibson.

Republican lawmakers have suggested Clinton’s server was “hacked” before. The Daily Caller report specifically points to a congressional hearing in July, during which Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) grilled former FBI agent Peter Strzok — who previously worked on the Clinton email probe and, later, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference — on the matter. Gohmert pointed to a watchdog report that cited a former Intelligence Community Inspector General official who had claimed a “foreign entity that was not Russia” had received 30,000 of Clinton’s emails.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert claimed, speaking to Strzok. “…You were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

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Shortly after that hearing, Republicans like Scott DesJarlais (TN) pounced, suggesting the alleged “hacking” was further proof of the Obama administration’s “failures.”

“Add hacking to long list of Obama Admin failures,” DesJarlais tweeted in July. “‘Extremely careless’ Hillary Clinton’s servers compromised Democrats, rest of us.”

While there is precisely zero evidence that Russia, or China for that matter, ever managed to hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails, that’s not to say they didn’t try.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s July indictment of 12 Russian intelligence operatives documented how Kremlin-backed hackers “attempted after hours to spearphish…email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provided and used by Clinton’s personal office. At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton Campaign.”

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According to the indictment, the hacking attempt came on the same day that then-candidate Donald Trump encouraged Russian hackers to go after Hillary Clinton and “find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”