Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz did not seem particularly concerned about the cyber breach that led to Wikileaks’ publication of internal emails, her successor Donna Brazile writes in her new book.
That’s when she got around to telling them at all, waiting more than a monthafter first learning of it in April. Then she refused to apologize to those affected by the breach. Brazile writes:
On June 14 Debbie invited the Democratic Party officers to a conference call to alert us that a story about hacking the DNC that would would be published in the Washington Post the following day. That call was the first time we’d heard that there was a problem. Debbie’s tone was so casual that I had not absorbed the details, nor even thought that it was much for us to be concerned about. Her manner indicated that this hacking thing was something she had covered. But had she?
Two top Obama administration officials told Brazile that the DNC had rebuffed the FBI’s offers to help deal with the hack. Susan Rice “told me I had to take this very seriously,” Brazile writes.
“It took a long time for the FBI to get any response from the party,” Rice said. “Make sure that the DNC cooperates fully with the investigators, promise me that.”
Eric Holder, then the attorney general, told her “the DNC was not very responsive to the FBI.”
That makes for a growing number of Obama officials whose recollection is more similar to that of former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson than Wasserman Schultz.
Johnson testified that the DNC rebuffed the FBI’s offer to help, and Wasserman Schultz said “He’s wrong in every respect.”
She said the FBI did not “do anything other than lob a phone call into our tech support through our main switchboard.”
But she did not say why a low-level staffer would not tell any superiors about a call from the FBI, or why her first call wasn’t to the FBI when she did eventually learn of the hack.
Democrats have since pointed to the breach as an international act of espionage so grave that it cost them the election.
Brazile also writes that Wasserman Schultz refused to apologize to the donors and others whose personal information was exposed in the leak: “I called her to say that an apology should come from her, but she was defiant. ‘I’m not doing that.’”