A few excerpts from New York Times reporter Amy Chozick’s new book, “CHASING HILLARY: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, And One Intact Glass Ceiling,” have already been reported, notably that Hillary used that “basket of deplorables” verbiage –- deplorable at it may be to think of one’s constituents that way –- numerous times before many groups of Democratic donors, and also that on election night she actually said, “I knew this would happen to me...they were never going to let me be President.” Personally, knowing Hillary, I think she must have been shocked out of her ever-loving mind when Robby Mook broke the news to her that she wasn’t going to be President, but in that remark one can see the beginnings of a paranoid conspiracy theory already forming in her brain.
Chozick’s book may turn out to be a pretty interesting read –- especially when compared with James Comey’s ridiculous book –- though it was written by someone who admits she cried when Hillary lost, and those weren’t the tears of joy and relief that mine were. (The reference to a “glass ceiling” in her title no doubt has a lot to do with her disappointment.) In particular, there’s something else Chozick discovered while covering the Hillary campaign that hasn’t received a lot of attention yet but that may turn out to explain a lot when it comes to the security of the DNC emails and texts.
In a piece adapted from her book and published Friday, she said that while visiting Hillary’s campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, she found someone’s iPhone just sitting in the ladies’ restroom. She said she assumed it belonged to John Podesta’s assistant, because when she picked it up, “a flood of calendar alerts for him popped up.” Podesta, as you know, was head of Hillary’s 2016 campaign, and it was his emails that were famously hacked, supposedly by “Russia Russia Russia!”
(Quick side note: Chozick uses the pronoun “him” in reference to Podesta’s assistant, so I assume this person was male. If that’s the case, one has to wonder how on earth “his” phone got left in the ladies room. Maybe the assistant “identified” as female and so was entitled to use the women’s facilities? Or maybe his phone was stolen by a female Russian spy who was looking at it in there and downloading everything off of it. But I digress.)
Anyway, Chozick didn’t know what to do. Under normal circumstances, one would simply give a phone back to the person it belonged to, but she was there to cover the campaign and might have been suspected of having looked through it. She placed it on the counter, went into the stall --- always a good place to ponder a problem --- came out, washed her hands...and exited the bathroom with the phone still sitting there. She knew that if she turned it in, they might think she’d snooped. If they were suspicious, she could have her invitation to Hillary’s headquarters rescinded or even be taken off the beat for unethical behavior. She was so worried about being accused that she did nothing.
This revelation is stunning in light of the nutty lawsuit just filed by the DNC that accuses, well, almost everyone under the sun –- including the Trump campaign, WikiLeaks and the Russian government –- of hacks and leaks that undermined Hillary Clinton’s candidacy leading up to her loss in November of 2016. Podesta’s Gmail account was hacked in March of that year, and the DNC computers were hacked as well (or perhaps there was an internal leak; we don’t know, since the DNC refuses to give the FBI access to their servers and other devices to do a forensic analysis). WikiLeaks published the material; Julian Assange never reveals sources but is adamant that it didn’t come from Russia. According to the Washington Examiner, an Associated Press assessment published in November of last year concluded that the group of Russian hackers known as Fancy Bear had hacked Podesta, using a phishing email. Keep in mind, though, that given today’s technology, it’s hard to know if that’s the case or if a Russian “signature” might have been inserted to make it look that way.
If security at Hillary’s campaign headquarters was so incredibly lax that the iPhone belonging to John Podesta’s assistant was just sitting around in the bathroom, then even the pretense of cybersecurity was out the window. (It was reported a long while back that Podesta’s email password was “password,” and the story of the Pakistani family of “IT professionals” servicing the DNC is a story unto itself.) If the DNC and the campaign want someone to blame for the hacking and leaking –- and for their stunning electoral loss –- they should stop pointing fingers and take a hard look at their own ineptitude.
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