DNC Hack Unleashes Whirlwind of Criticism

A few days back, 19,000 emails and several private voice mail recordings stolen from the Democratic National Committee’s private server were released and published on WikiLeaks. The¬†leaked data, which represents yet another way that technology has played a major role in the 2016 elections, has since been thoroughly sifted through by reporters and civilians alike, with fairly damning results.

dnc2The emails reveal the many embarrassing deals made between donors and campaign officials, demonstrating the way that fundraising higher-ups are in charge of approving and denying access to Barack Obama and other top officials.

The emails also validated concerns expressed by Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign that the DNC favored Hillary Clinton in the race to become the¬†Democratic presidential nominee.

The voice mail recordings are no less embarrassing; two different US ambassadors left messages for the DNC to speak about personal meetings with the president; one message is left by disgraced DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who sought to confirm plans to attend a “small dinner” with President Obama. Another was from a staffer who wanted tickets to a St. Patrick’s Day event with the president.

“We’ve received an invitation to the vice president’s breakfast but not the White House reception,” complained the staffer in a voice mail dated back from February. That same staffer later called to confirm that the invitation had been received.

The leak, which many experts believe to have been carried out by Russian state-sponsored hackers, are also heavily composed of email exchanges that discuss a large range of donor data and transactions. Among these exchanges include emails about donors hoping to get seats next to Obama at roundtable discussions. One such email facilitated the bump of a donor with cancer from the seat next to Obama, allowing a more generous donor to take his place.

dnc leak2“A lot of people unfortunately get sick,” finance director Jordan Kaplan said of the switch via leaked email. After the email was revealed to the public, Kaplan admitted to being “embarrassed” by the leak:

“It was a conversation we were having amongst our team, and again, I’m sorry people have read them, and I’m embarrassed it’s out there,” he conceded.

The leaked emails also show Kaplan asking other finance staffers to compile a list of major league donors who wanted to play golf with President Obama. The resulting drafted list is also available via email.

Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta believes the most significant aspect of the leak to be that donors’ personal information was exposed to the world:

“What was disclosed is personal information of our donors, and it’s always worrisome when personal information is stolen,” he stated. “And that’s true whether it’s Target or Sony or, or the DNC.”

Among the files leaked is a large spreadsheet titled “Big Spreadsheet of All Things” that lists every donation made to the party and each event where money was raised.

Some emails even demonstrate the process by which donors were vetted. Many donors found that their support was not accepted due to past scandals involving the donor, all of which was laid out clearly in the emails.

While Democratic fundraisers are displeased with the leak, many say that what the leak demonstrates has been commonplace for decades.

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