Tags: Trump Administration | security | agent | gop | operative | russian | hacking

Independent Security Agent Says Operative Communicating With Russians

Image: Independent Security Agent Says Operative Communicating With Russians
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 01 Jul 2017 11:01 AM

An independent security expert says that a GOP operative with alleged ties to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, who tried to recruit him to help validate recovered missing emails from Hillary Clinton's private server, was communicating with Russian hackers.

"Given the amount of media attention given at the time to the likely involvement of the Russian government in the DNC hack, it seemed mind-boggling for the Trump campaign — or for this offshoot of it — to be actively seeking those emails," Matt Tait, the CEO and founder of UK-based security consultant firm Capital Alpha Security, wrote in an piece for Lawfare. "To me this felt really wrong."

Tait said he believes the operative, Peter Smith, was communicating with Russian hackers and that the operation was through the "blessing" of some in the Trump campaign.

He wrote in his Lawfare piece that he was a source for a Friday article in The Wall Street Journal,  which detailed how Smith, while seeking Clinton's emails from hackers, had implied a connection to Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was eventually named as Trump's National Security Adviser.

Tait said he decided to expand on The Wall Street Journal article through a piece of his own.

He explained that his role in the events started last spring, when he started tweeting parts of Freedom of Information disclosures by the State Department of Clinton’s emails, especially the parts about computer security. Tait said he was not a foe of Clinton's, but he figured she would be elected president and the emails could provide insight into cybersecurity and national security.

In June, when materials hacked from the Democratic National Committee's servers began appearing online, Tait said he started looking at the stolen documents to try to understand who committed the hacking and why.

"A few weeks later, right around the time the DNC emails were dumped by Wikileaks — and curiously, around the same time Trump called for the Russians to get Hillary Clinton’s missing emails  — I was contacted out the blue by a man named Peter Smith, who had seen my work going through these emails. Smith implied that he was a well-connected Republican political operative," Tait said.

However, he continued that Smith did not contact him over the DNC hack, but about Clinton's private email server, and that the GOP operative believed the Russians were involved.

Tait also said that Smith told him he'd been contacted by someone on the "Dark Web" claiming to have the Clinton emails, and he wanted help validating them.

Under normal circumstances, he said the conversation would have gone no further, as he did not want to provide help to either the Clinton or Trump campaigns, as he is not a U.S. citizen.

Further, Tait said he does not believe now, or then, that Russia had breached Clinton's emails, because if they had, "they would not waste them" during an election she was expected to win.

Tait said he wanted to learn if Smith's contact could have been a "Russian intelligence front," but he never learned who the contact was.

Smith told The Wall Street Journal that before last year's election, he gathered a team of attorneys, Russian-speaking investigators in order to get hold of the missing emails. He also said he believed Russians hacked Clinton's server.

Tait, meanwhile, said he believed the team "was formed with the blessing of the Trump campaign."

Tait said Smith cited not only Flynn, but eventual White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, now-presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, and now-Agriculture Department policy adviser Sam Clovis, while trying to recruit him.

"Smith and his associates'" knowledge of the inner workings of the campaign were insightful beyond what could be obtained by merely attending Republican events or watching large amounts of news coverage," Tait wrote.

Tait also said that Smith told him there was a great deal of infighting in Trump's campaign and that the Trump "often just repeats whatever he’s heard from the last person who spoke to him."

Smith has since died after giving his interview to The Wall Street Journal, but Smith, the White House, and a Trump campaign official have all denied that he or his team worked for the campaign.

Tait wrote that he never saw any of the emails, but Smith had told The Wall Street Journal he obtained some but was not able to verify them.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
An independent security expert says that a GOP operative with alleged ties to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, who tried to recruit him to help validate recovered missing emails from Hillary Clinton's private server, was communicating with Russian hackers.
security, agent, gop, operative, russian, hacking, emails
723
2017-01-01
Saturday, 01 Jul 2017 11:01 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved