Russian hackers have likely compiled a dossier on President-elect Donald Trump that could be leaked in the coming months, according to a Russia expert that used to sit on the National Security Council.
“I think they most certainly have something on Trump,” said Thomas Graham, managing director at Kissinger Associates — the consulting firm of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Intelligence Advisory Board chair Brent Scowcroft.
Graham spoke at the weekend at an event in London held at the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
“I don’t know what it is,” Graham said, “but I think certainly more is going to be leaked and made public in the months ahead. There’s got to be a dossier on Trump.” He added American politicians “can’t assume that the Russians have released the best stuff that they have”.
“The question that we have to answer is what are they going to release, at what time, with what purpose in the US?” he asked. Graham sat on the US National Security Council from 2004 to 2007 under George W Bush, serving as a Russian specialist.
“We have no firm understanding what they might have collected across the board on various political leaders — and that includes various Republicans,” he said of Russian intelligence-linked hackers.
Late Thursday (15 December) the Republican National Committee (RNC) told the Wall Street Journal that Russian hackers had attempted to breach the party’s computers over the summer, but were blocked by an email spam filter. The Russian intelligence-linked hackers also broke into Democratic National Committee emails and others from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair.
Those emails were published by WikiLeaks in the latter days of the 2016 campaign. A research document on Trump compiled by the Democrats and dated 19 December 2015 was also released in the leaks.
Other Republicans, such as former UN ambassador John Bolton, have obliquely suggested that the RNC was hacked. “It is not at all clear to me, just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false flag operation,” Bolton said during an interview on Fox News on Monday (12 December).
In September the Republican chair of the House homeland security committee, Mike McCaul, said that he “misspoke by asserting that the RNC was hacked” following a CNN interview in which he said the “Russians have basically hacked into both parties at the national level”.
No emails or documents from the RNC were ever leaked. But emails from several high-level Republicans, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, John McCain, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former President George HW Bush appeared on the site DCleaks.com.