Democratic National Committee (DNC) interim chair Donna Brazile told ABC December 18 that hacking continued after President Barack Obama supposedly told Russia to "cut it out."
"No, they did not stop. They came after us absolutely every day until the end of the election. They tried to hack into our system repeatedly," Brazile said. DNC emails were "weaponized" she said, and their release through WikiLeaks caused "a lot of confusion."
"We were fighting a foreign adversary in cyberspace," Brazile claimed. She also said DNC members and donors were "harassed." The DNC wants to see an open, independent, bipartisan investigation into the matter, Brazile said.
Russia says is has no involvement in the hacks, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said more than once that their source for the emails the site released was not Russian.
Brazile, who has faced criticism over her own debate question leak scandal, said she takes "full responsibility" for the hack. "I spent the entire month of July, all of August, apologizing because of the leaked — stolen — emails," she said.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, told NBC the same day that he had no idea his email had been compromised until days after WikiLeaks began publishing the messages. The FBI contacted him two days later, he said.
Podesta also suggested that the timing of the leaks was meant to distract from then-GOP candidate Donald Trump's outrageous Access Hollywood tape, in which he bragged about groping women.
"On October 7, the Access Hollywood tape comes out. One hour later, WikiLeaks started dropping my emails into the public. One could say those things might not have been a coincidence," Podesta said.
The Washington Post and other media outlets have published stories citing only anonymous members of the US intelligence community claiming that Russia did indeed hack the DNC and the Republican National Committee. President Obama on December 16 said that Russia was indeed behind the hack. No evidence supporting these claims has yet been presented.
Former CIA director James Woolsey told ABC December 18 that the final determination of who hacked what would be made by the US National Security Agency (NSA).
"This is really an NSA decision… I think more than anything else," he said. "And if NSA is confident that it's the Russians, then it almost certainly is. Depends on them."
Woolsey, who headed the CIA from 1993-1995, said "there's a strong chance" that the Russians are behind the hacking. He also alluded to Russian "disinformation" programs, which he said run "all the time" and include efforts like doctoring photographs. The DNC hack — or leak, as WikiLeaks contends — shared actual messages from DNC members and the Clinton campaign staff.
President-elect Donald Trump has expressed skepticism at the idea of Russian involvement, but has gone so far as to say "maybe" they were behind the hacks. NSA Director Mike Rogers has said the attacks were directed by a "nation state."
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CBS that the campaign was "absolutely not" in communication with Russia about any kind of hacking, and called such statements "not only inaccurate and false," but also "dangerous."
"If the CIA director… and others at the top are serious about turning over evidence… they should do that," she said.
"They should not be leaking to the media. If there's evidence, let's see it."
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told Fox News Sunday that Trump would be willing to accept accusations of Russian hacking if the intelligence community would present evidence. "I think he would accept the conclusion if they would get together, put out a report and show the American people they are on the same page," he said.