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Sen. Warner: Disturbing Implications of DNC Hack

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., co-founder of the cyber-crime caucus and seen here using Skype, says the DNC hack could have profoundly disturbing implications. (Warner's Office)
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., co-founder of the cyber-crime caucus and seen here using Skype, says the DNC hack could have profoundly disturbing implications. (Warner's Office)
July 28, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. — Charges the Russians may have hacked the Democratic National Committee to help Donald Trump are "extraordinarily disturbing" to Virginia Senator Mark Warner. Warner sits on the Intelligence Committee and co-founded a cyber security caucus.

He said we have to be careful not to encourage conspiracy theories, and he's waiting to see the full investigation. But, the senator said, some of Trump's pro-Russian positions make it very unsettling.

"It seems like it would be something out of the National Enquirer,” Warner said. "Donald Trump makes comments saying that America is not going to honor its NATO obligations - which would be extraordinarily dangerous - and then a couple of days later you have this DNC hack."

The Washington Post and The Atlantic magazine have reported that Trump received loans and investment capital from wealthy Russians close to Vladimir Putin. The candidate admitted that he has sold real estate to Russians, but denied that they have any influence over him. At an event Wednesday, Trump implied that he wanted Russian hackers to expose Hillary Clinton's emails.

Warner made his fortune in cell phones and technology and as a senator he’s become a congressional specialist in cyber-crime. He said the U.S. is extremely vulnerable.

FBI figures indicate that American companies lose $130 billion a year to cyber-crime. But Warner said the current accusations, if true, are more serious, as the implications reach beyond commerce.

"Candidly, I hope this accusation proves not to be true,” Warner said, "because it would raise extraordinarily serious repercussions in terms of U.S.-Russian relations at a time when the world doesn't need further controversy."

Republicans said the DNC hack is a good example of why Clinton should not have kept a private email server when with the State Department. Warner said Clinton has admitted she would do things differently now.

But, he pointed out that many companies and government agencies with protected servers have been hacked too - including the federal Office of Personnel Management.

"The OPM hack, when literally twenty million current and former federal employees had their information hacked,” Warner said, "we pretty much know that that was done by individuals in China. This is an area that we're all going to have to be more vigilant."

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - VA