Report: Every Campaign (Except Trump’s) Commits To Not Using Hacked Data Against Opponents
Every Democratic contender currently running for president in the 2020 election cycle, and even one potential independent candidate, has committed to not knowingly using stolen or hacked materials against their opponents in order to get an edge on them.
But there’s one notable absence from the list: the current commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump, whose campaign scoffed at such a commitment.
The Daily Beast reached out to every person currently running for president, including those who have formed a presidential exploratory campaign. Every Democratic candidate, whether directly from themselves or through their aides, has committed to not using stolen data from one of their opponents in the 2020 election season.
“I vow that our campaign will not seek out stolen hacked information from foreign adversaries or knowingly weaponize or promote stolen hacked materials, and I urge all of my colleagues in the 2020 field to pledge the same,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) said.
Her colleagues did, in fact, agree with her to commit to such a pledge. Sen. Bernie Sanders’s adviser Josh Orton, speaking on behalf of his boss, said, “We would not use stolen material to attack another candidate.”
Every Democratic candidate running for the White House has pledged not to knowingly use hacked data should it end up being published during the current election cycle. Only one 2020 campaign chose not to respond: Donald Trump’s https://t.co/wYKibiCZMB pic.twitter.com/YsuHRxyfHC
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 22, 2019
In fact, every Democratic campaign that the Daily Beast reached out to — which was, every Democrat so far running or in the exploratory phase of deciding to run — said they would not use such materials. Even aides close to Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO who said he may make an independent run for president, said “we would follow that rule” should he decide to throw his hat in the race.
The Daily Beast also made attempts to reach out to President Donald Trump’s campaign. Initially, they couldn’t get a response back, but eventually, after first publishing their findings, a spokeswoman for the campaign offered a not-so-satisfactory answer.
“We’re not in the business of taking pledges invented by the liberal online media,” the Trump campaign’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said.
That finding shouldn’t be too surprising; in the summer of 2016, Trump himself, speaking to the press, urged Russian agents to hack into his opponent’s emails to find tens of thousands of them that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had allegedly deleted.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said in July of 2016, per reporting from the New York Times.
As noted by the Times, Russian agents did in fact make their first known attacks on Clinton’s personal server the very same day that Trump made the request.