NY Times Report Debunks Fox News' Fantasy That Hillary Clinton's Server Was Hacked

The New York Times reported that computer security logs turned over to the FBI “showed no evidence of foreign hacking” into Hillary Clinton's email server, repudiating a popular narrative by Fox News personalities that foreign countries and “other bad actors” hacked into Clinton's server.

Computer Security Logs Show No Evidence Of Hacking Into Clinton's Email Server

New York Times: Security Record Of Clinton's Email Server “Showed No Evidence Of Foreign Hacking.” Records of computer security logs from Hillary Clinton's private email server “showed no evidence of foreign hacking,” according to a March 3 New York Times report. Times reporter Matt Apuzzo noted that Bryan Pagliano, an aide to Clinton who “provided agents the security logs ... told the agents that nothing in his security logs suggested that any intrusion occurred”:

A former aide to Hillary Clinton has turned over to the F.B.I. computer security logs from Mrs. Clinton's private server, records that showed no evidence of foreign hacking, according to people close to a federal investigation into Mrs. Clinton's emails.

The security logs bolster Mrs. Clinton's assertion that her use of a personal email account to conduct State Department business while she was the secretary of state did not put American secrets into the hands of hackers or foreign governments. The former aide, Bryan Pagliano, began cooperating with federal agents last fall, according to interviews with a federal law enforcement official and others close to the case. Mr. Pagliano described how he set up the server in Mrs. Clinton's home in Chappaqua, N.Y., and according to two of the people, he provided agents the security logs. The law enforcement official described the interview as routine. Most of those close to the case spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the continuing investigation.

Mrs. Clinton's work-related emails as secretary of state, which have been made public as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, show that she received spam emails intended to try to lure her into clicking a malicious link. Those emails, known as “spear phishing” attempts, were traced to Russia, but it was not clear from the emails alone whether anyone clicked on those links or whether the security was compromised.

Mr. Pagliano told the agents that nothing in his security logs suggested that any intrusion occurred. Security logs keep track of, among other things, who accessed the network and when. They are not definitive, and forensic experts can sometimes spot sophisticated hacking that is not apparent in the logs, but computer security experts view logs as key documents when detecting hackers. [New York Times, 3/3/16]

For Months, Fox News Baselessly Claimed Clinton's Server Had Been Hacked

Fox's Sean Hannity: “I Guarantee ... You're Going To Find Out Vladimir Putin, The Chinese, Somebody Has Those Emails.” Fox host Sean Hannity said on the August 5 edition of The Sean Hannity Show said, “I guarantee you, you are going to wake up one day, and you're going to find out Vladimir Putin, the Chinese, somebody has those emails”:

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I guarantee you, you are going to wake up one day, and you're going to find out Vladimir Putin, the Chinese, somebody has those emails. They're gonna -- that means she's a compromised candidate. What does that mean? All right, Hillary Clinton broke the law. Hillary Clinton put classified information on her server, on her email system. Let's say Vladimir Putin has it. Let's say the Chinese have it. Let's say she's president. Let's say they're in the middle of negotiations. Let's say Vladimir digs into his briefcase and pulls out all the emails and says look what I got Hillary. You are going to do it my way, because the alternative for her is going to be jail if he releases it. What do you think Hillary is going to do? She's going to do whatever it takes to stay out of jail. She's compromised her ability to get secure information. And the country for that matter. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 8/5/15]

Fox's Steve Doocy: It's A “Fact” That Clinton “Was Hacked ... By Russia And China And North Korea.” On the February 1 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy said that Clinton's server being “hacked ... by Russia, and China, and North Korea, and other bad actors” was a “fact,” asking how the investigation into her server would be changed if “it is proven that ... other governments” obtained secrets “from her email device that was wide open”:

STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): And Greta, given the fact that it sounds like she was hacked, not only by Russia, and China, and North Korea, and other bad actors as well, but how would this change in a legal way for her if it is proven that perhaps some American operators, CIA agents, or people like that, actually died because of secrets other governments got from her email device that was wide open?

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well you say proven. I mean, I don't know whether any of that can be proven. But even if it's proven I don't see this having legal liability. I mean obviously there are all sorts of other implications. She was never supposed to have that server in her house. That violates the rules. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/1/16]

Fox's Jesse Watters: “Just Ask The Chinese ... They Probably Hacked Hillary's Server.” On the February 26 edition of Outnumbered, Fox correspondent Jesse Watters claimed that “The Chinese ... probably hacked Hillary's server” and had the contents of her emails:

SANDRA SMITH (CO-HOST): Everybody's promising a transparent campaign, Jesse. But let's see who follows through. Meanwhile, [Hillary Clinton] has still got a substantial lead in South Carolina ahead of the primary.

JESSE WATTERS: Yeah, she's going to smoke Bernie in South Carolina. You think there's going to be like a 47 percent kind of deal in these transcripts? Even if it is, there's no audio or video. So I don't think it's going to have huge effect. If we really want to find out what's in the transcripts, we should just ask the Chinese, they probably hacked Hillary's server and found it themselves. [Fox News,Outnumbered, 2/26/16]

Fox Contributor K. T. McFarland: “I Think” The Russians, Chinese, And Iranians Were Reading Clinton's Emails In “Real Time” And “Knew Everything.” On the October 14, 2015 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Fox contributor and national security analyst K.T. McFarland said that “the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, they knew what [the United States'] negotiating position was” during international talks because they were reading Clinton's emails in “real time” and “knew everything”:

BILL HEMMER (CO-HOST): As a national security analyst, do you believe, based on the president's statement the other night, that he was right, or indeed was the use of this server endangering national security, putting it at risk?

K.T. MCFARLAND: I've talked to intelligence officials, people and I've talked to people in the cyber world. And they've said, look, the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, they hacked into her stuff from the very beginning. They were reading in real time her emails. So, for example, every time the United States went into a negotiation, the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, they knew what our negotiating position was.

HEMMER: You think they knew everything?

MCFARLAND: I think they knew everything. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 10/14/15]

Fox Analyst Andrew Napolitano: There's A “Pretty High” Chance Putin And The Chinese Hacked Clinton's Server. On the August 5 edition of Hannity, Fox senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano claimed “the chances of bad guys having [Clinton's] confidential, classified emails are pretty high” because one of Clinton's aides “had his emails hacked”:

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): So what are the odds that Putin, the Chinese, or somebody else hacked into that server?

ANDREW NAPOLITANO: Well, we already know that her most frequent emailer, her good friend nicknamed “The Prince of Darkness,” Sid Blumenthal, had his emails hacked. And we already know that she emailed with Mr. Blumenthal more than anybody else. So the chances of bad guys having her confidential, classified emails are pretty high. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/5/15]