Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin this week told the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that they still had "questions" about whether the agency played any role in attributing the 2016 Democratic National Committee hack to Russia.
On Thursday, Johnson and Grassley told Stefanie Tompkins, "recent reports have raised questions about whether an individual doing research on behalf of" DARPA had "investigated" the DNC hack in 2016, according to the Washington Examiner.
"The DNC hack occurred during the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, which was marked by claims of meddling by foreign actors," Grassley and Johnson said on Thursday, according to the Examiner. "Some of those claims have since been confirmed to be disinformation efforts by operatives from the Democratic campaign."
They added, "As details continue to emerge, the public is rightly concerned about the extent to which various federal agencies investigated, validated, dispelled, or relied on these claims."
A DARPA spokesperson said in March that "to the best of our knowledge, no DARPA-funded researchers investigated" the 2016 DNC breach.
"DARPA was not involved in efforts to attribute the DNC hack. [Georgia Tech computer scientist Manos Antonakakis] worked on DARPA's Enhanced Attribution program, which did not involve analysis of the DNC hack," Jared Adams, DARPA's chief of communications, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner last month. "Further, DARPA was not involved in efforts to attribute the Guccifer 2.0 persona, nor any involvement in efforts to attribute the origin of leaked emails provided to WikiLeaks."
He also clarified that a meeting between DARPA and special counsel John Durham "was to provide a high-level overview of the Enhanced Attribution program. During the course of that meeting, DARPA did not discuss matters related to the DNC hack, Guccifer 2.0, or leaked DNC emails provided to WikiLeaks."
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