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Report: Emails of top House GOP campaign officials stolen in hack

The NRCC kept the situation quiet — even the House leaders didn't know about the breach

Until Monday, House Republicans were reportedly left in the dark over an email hack to their party's campaign arm that occurred months before the midterm elections. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

According to Politico, four staffers at the National Republican Congressional Committee fell victim to a major email hack prior to the 2018 elections, but officials chose not to disclose the situation in order to conduct an investigation into the matter.

Even top GOP leaders were reportedly left in the dark.

What are the details?

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the officials told Politico that the aides' accounts were surveilled for several months before a vendor discovered the breach in April. The FBI was alerted to the situation, but refused to comment on the case.

On Monday, Politico reached out to the offices of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), finding none of the leaders had been informed of the breach until the outlet called for comments in response to the matter.

Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), who served as NRCC chairman this past election cycle, did not respond to Politico's requests for comment.

NRCC officials said that while thousands of emails were compromised, they insisted that no donor information was exposed, and the organization was never threatened with the information being leaked to the public. The sources from the House GOP's campaign arm believe a foreign agent is behind the attack.

The NRCC secured the services of Mercury Public Affairs to assist in its response to the hack. Mercury vice president and former NRCC operative Ian Prior told Politico:

"The NRCC can confirm that it was the victim of a cyber intrusion by an unknown entity. The cybersecurity of the Committee's data is paramount, and upon learning of the intrusion, the NRCC immediately launched an internal investigation and notified the FBI, which is now investigating the matter.

To protect the integrity of that investigation, the NRCC will offer no further comment on the incident."

Anything else?

Over the summer, the NRCC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee worked for weeks to arrive on an agreement that would have prohibited both parties from using any hacked data while campaigning for the November midterm elections, The New York Times reported.

In September, the NRCC backed out of the deal, accusing the Democrats of violating a mutual agreement not to publicly discuss the terms during negotiations.

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