Sanders Campaign Maintains DNC Holds Responsibility For Data Breach

Bernie Sanders speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
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After the Democratic National Committee restored Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) access to his voter data, an adviser to his presidential campaign has vocalized new complaints about the way the DNC handled the incident, Yahoo News reported on Friday.

An unnamed adviser told Yahoo that officials at the DNC and employees at NGP VAN, the vendor that manages voter files for the party and the Democratic presidential campaigns, responded to the data breach by leaking information and blocking the Sanders campaign from the investigation into the incident.

The DNC suspended the Sanders campaign from its voter data, which included information gathered by the campaign itself, after campaign staffers inappropriately accessed information from Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Normally, the campaigns would not be able to access each others’ information, but a bug in new software from NGP VAN allowed the campaigns to briefly see each other’s voter files.

The Sanders campaign fired its data director and suspended two other staffers over their role in searching for Clinton voter data. And the campaign also filed a lawsuit against the DNC, accusing the committee of holding the campaign’s information “hostage” and working to help Clinton’s campaign. The DNC eventually restored the Sanders campaign’s access to the voter data.

Now a campaign adviser says that Josh Uretsky, the data director fired by the campaign, was recommended to the Sanders campaign by DNC officials and a staffer at NGP VAN.

“It’s not as if we conjured this guy Josh from thin air. This is an individual … who was recommended to us by the DNC and NGP VAN,” the adviser told Yahoo News.

“I just think it’s utter hypocrisy on their part,” the adviser continued. “I mean here we are being attacked for the behavior of an individual, which we ultimately fired. We agree he acted improperly, but it’s just amazing to me that this … individual that actually caused this trouble in our campaign was recommended by these guys.”

The adviser said that since Uretsky came with recommendations from people tied to the DNC and NGP VAN, the DNC bears “responsibility.” He also said that a DNC official’s recommendation of Uretsky could show that there was some sort of conspiracy.

“I don’t know how you can more centrally connect this thing than those two entities,” the adviser said. “Here we are being attacked by both of those entities when, in fact, they recommended this guy to the campaign.”

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