Guccifer Hack: Hillary Clinton’s Staff Tried to Protect Her From CNN

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By Emily Zanotti | 4:05 pm, June 29, 2016

Guccifer’s alleged Hillary Clinton hack went further into the recesses of her DNC servers and Clinton campaign email than first thought.

According to the Smoking Gun, Guccifer was able to hack into the DNC in part by using a spoofed Gmail page that encouraged unsuspecting users to enter their login information. The ruse tricked at least one Hillary campaign staffer, Clinton events volunteer Sarah Hamilton, who was apparently in charge of corralling press at some of Clinton’s events.

Hamilton and other staffers—even Clinton’s traveling press secretary—were apparently charged with tracking media at a number of Clinton events, keeping reporters away from Clinton’s rope line (where she would meet and greet rally attendees). They reported to each other throughout the events, indicating where they saw reporters, and strategizing on how best to head off any media that might try to cut through the crowd to accost Clinton while she pressed the flesh.

One string of emails shows staffers keeping an eagle eye on CNN’s Dan Merica (who they also cordoned off with a rope at an earlier parade event) at a Las Vegas rally. Another string of emails shows them closely watching Chicago Sun-Times Washington chief Lynn Sweet (even going so far as to seat a staffer next to Sweet on an event bus). It’s unclear why the campaign was particularly eager to keep those reporters away from Hillary.

Neither Merica nor Sweet has commented publicly—and the Clinton team wasn’t totally successful. Reporters have infiltrated their impenetrable line on several occasions, including yesterday, when a CNN reporter got to the edge of a rope line, close enough to ask Clinton about the Benghazi report.

The Trump team receives routine criticism for its hostility to the press (in part because it has an extensive “banned reporters list”), but Clinton’s campaign has been just as tough on working media. They’ve famously cordoned off reporters at events, tagged them with neon media badges, and avoided major media interviews like they carry plague.

Guccifer, a Romanian hacker responsible for various high level breaches in the U.S., is slowly releasing emails he says he pulled from various DNC-affiliated servers. He claims to be the “lone wolf” responsible for the hacks. Security experts claim the hacks originated in Russia and that Guccifer is merely passing along information to reporters.