Guccifer speaks, NBC edition

Yesterday Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne reported on their interviews with the Romanian hacker Guccifer in the course of his detention in Virginia. NBC News provides another angle on Guccifer’s claim that he successfully hacked Hillary Clinton’s private email server:

The Romanian hacker who first exposed Hillary Clinton’s private email address is making a bombshell new claim — that he also gained access to the former Secretary of State’s “completely unsecured” server.

“It was like an open orchid on the Internet,” Marcel Lehel Lazar, who uses the devilish handle Guccifer, told NBC News in an exclusive interview from a prison in Bucharest. “There were hundreds of folders.”

The NBC report adds: “A source with knowledge of the probe into Clinton’s email setup told NBC News that with Guccifer in U.S. custody, investigators fully intend to question him about her server.” You’d certainly think so. Compare this with the Herridge/Browne FOX News report on Guccifer’s extradition last month. It’s not exactly breaking news.

NBC’s report raises doubt about Guccifer’s claim, including a statement from the Clinton campaign:

When pressed by NBC News, Lazar, 44, could provide no documentation to back up his claims, nor did he ever release anything online supporting his allegations, as he had frequently done with past hacks. The FBI’s review of the Clinton server logs showed no sign of hacking, according to a source familiar with the case.

Brian Fallon, national press secretary for Clinton’s presidential campaign, said Guccifer’s claims were baseless.

“There is absolutely no basis to believe the claims made by this criminal from his prison cell,” said Fallon. “In addition to the fact that he offers no proof to support his claims, his descriptions of Secretary Clinton’s server are inaccurate. It is unfathomable that he would have gained access to her emails and not leaked them the way he did to his other victims.

“We have received no indication from any government agency to support these claims, nor are they reflected in the range of charges that Guccifer already faces and that prompted his extradition in the first place,” Fallon added. “And it has been reported that security logs from Secretary Clinton’s email server do not show any evidence of foreign hacking.”

Incidentally, Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne have now added a statement along the same lines from the Clinton campaign to their more detailed and more current story on Guccifer’s claim. Here is the Clinton campaign’s statement to FOX News:

“There is absolutely no basis to believe the claims made by this criminal from his prison cell. In addition to the fact he offers no proof to support his claims, his descriptions of Secretary Clinton’s server are inaccurate. It is unfathomable that he would have gained access to her emails and not leaked them the way he did to his other victims.”

Readers will note that NBC interviewed Guccifer during his pre-extradition detention in Romania. That means the reported interview took place at least a month ago. For some reason NBC does not give the date of the interview.

In any event, NBC is late getting around to reporting on what it now characterizes as a “bombshell.” NBC has sat on it until now, even though they find it sufficiently newsworthy to get in their licks at this time. I wonder why. Indeed, I find that newsworthy all by itself.

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