McCaul Says he ‘Misspoke’ About RNC Hack

A committee spokesman refuted chairman's claim

McCaul chairs the Homeland Security Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
McCaul chairs the Homeland Security Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:30pm

House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said he “misspoke” when he stated on CNN that Russian hackers had penetrated the systems at the Republican National Committee. 

“What I had intended to say was that, in addition to the Democratic National Committee, Republican political operatives have also been hacked,”  McCaul said in a statement

Asked for specifics, a committee aide pointed to a Foreign Policy article from August that referred to the website DCLeaks.com posting emails stolen from campaign staff of GOP Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. One intelligence firm has linked the website to Russia.

Though McCaul said he misspoke, he said twice during the interview that the RNC had been hacked. News broke in July that the Democratic National Committee system was also penetrated in a cyberattack.

“They have not only hacked into the DNC but also into the RNC. So they are not discriminating one party against the other,” McCaul said during an interview on CNN Wednesday evening. “They basically have hacked into both parties at the national level and that gives us all concerns about what their motivations are.”

RNC spokesman Sean Spicer tweeted after McCaul’s interview, “Contrary to reports, there has been no known breach of @GOP networks.”

An aide for the National Republican Senatorial Committee said there is no known hack at the campaign committee either. A spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

After the DNC cyberattack was reported, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also revealed that it was the subject of a cyber attack. 

Niels Lesniewksi and Lindsey McPherson contributed.