Brian Mast

WSJ reports Florida GOP operative got help from alleged Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Guccifer 2.0, an alleged Russian hacker, helped Florida Republican operative Aaron Nevins during the 2016 campaign.  

Nevins told WSJ that he is not convinced the Russians are involved but even if they were, it doesn’t matter to him because the agenda of the hackers seemed to match his own. “If your interests align,” he said, “never shut any doors in politics.”

Newly elected Republican Congressman Brian Mast also gets a mention in WSJ story.

The hacking spree that upended the presidential election wasn’t limited to Democratic National Committee memos and Clinton-aide emails posted on websites. The hacker also privately sent Democratic voter-turnout analyses to a Republican political operative in Florida named Aaron Nevins.

Learning that hacker “Guccifer 2.0” had tapped into a Democratic committee that helps House candidates, Mr. Nevins wrote to the hacker to say: “Feel free to send any Florida based information.”

Ten days later, Mr. Nevins received 2.5 gigabytes of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee documents, some of which he posted on a blog called HelloFLA.com that he ran using a pseudonym.

Soon after, the hacker sent a link to the blog article to Roger Stone, a longtime informal adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump, along with Mr. Nevins’ analysis of the hacked data.

Mr. Nevins confirmed his exchanges after The Wall Street Journal identified him first as the operator of the HelloFLA blog and then as the recipient of the stolen DCCC data. The Journal also reviewed copies of exchanges between the hacker and Mr. Nevins. That the obscure blog had received hacked Democratic documents was previously known, but not the extent of the trove or the blogger’s identity.

“I just threw an arrow in the dark,” Mr. Nevins said in an interview, adding he set up a Dropbox account so whoever was using the Guccifer 2.0 name could send large amounts of material. Later, going through what the hacker sent as someone who “actually knows what some of these documents mean,” the GOP consultant said he “realized it was a lot more than even Guccifer knew that he had.”

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