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Rick Santorum doesn't believe Russia was behind DNC hack

Santorum denies Russia to blame for DNC hack
Santorum denies Russia to blame for DNC hack

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    Santorum denies Russia to blame for DNC hack

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Santorum denies Russia to blame for DNC hack 02:33

Story highlights

  • Santorum: "If there's a trail of breadcrumbs that says this is the Russians, it's probably not the Russians"
  • Santorum says it's the "politicization of intelligence"

(CNN)Rick Santorum says he doesn't believe Russia was behind the hack into Democratic National Committee emails last year that US intelligence agencies say was an effort by Moscow to throw the election to Donald Trump.

"If there's a trail of breadcrumbs that says this is the Russians, it's probably not the Russians," he told CNN's Chris Cuomo Thursday.
The former Pennsylvania senator, who's now a CNN senior political commentator, also denied that the theft of the emails was a hack, instead calling it "a fishing expedition." Pushed by Cuomo on whether he disagreed with the intelligence services' conclusion that Russia was behind the hack, he said, "Unfortunately, I think this is what Trump was worried about. It's the politicization of intelligence."
    Santorum said the intelligence community based its conclusions on the findings of an outside contractor brought in by the DNC to investigate the hack, and in his opinion, that was "wrong."
    The FBI said it asked the DNC for access to examine its servers and the DNC declined. Instead, the cybersecurity company Crowdstrike, hired by the DNC, provided its findings to the FBI. But the intelligence agencies' findings on Russia's role in the hacks as a whole are based on broader evidence, including classified methods that agencies including the National Security Agency have for determining the source of cyberattacks.
    The US government publicly announced in October that it was "confident" Russia orchestrated the hacking of the DNC and other Democratic political entities.
    Those hacks resulted in the public release of thousands of stolen emails, many of which included damaging revelations about the Democratic Party and Clinton, the party's presidential nominee.
    At the time, the intelligence agencies didn't go as far as suggesting the efforts were aimed at bolstering Trump's chances and hurting Clinton's. However, following the election, intelligence agencies announced that they did think the hacks were aimed at helping Trump.