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Democrats fear hackers targeted tight Florida races for latest data leaks

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Leading Democrats are growing increasingly worried that the hackers who made public leaked documents this week were trying to sabotage the Democratic candidates in several central Florida congressional races, the first time such leaks have been targeted so directly.

Two sources familiar with Democratic Party investigations of recent cyber attacks said documents made public this week by the hacker known as Guccifer2 contained information that could damage Democratic candidates in competitive Florida contests for the U.S. House of Representatives.

The documents, hacked from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which raises funds for the party’s House candidates, are detailed dossiers describing the Florida candidates’ backgrounds, including personal details, as well as political, economic and demographic profiles of the strategic congressional districts.

Since 1996, the parties winning the counties in the Interstate 4 corridor between Orlando and Tampa, where several of the targeted districts are located, have won the presidency.

Many of the state’s moderate swing voters live in the I-4 corridor, and if Republican voters there turn out in force, it could cut into the vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.The DCCC was one of several Democratic Party organizations, including the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, that have been hacked, but the Democratic Party sources said they did not know who might have helped the hackers select the Florida races to target, or what the hackers were trying to accomplish.

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There is, though, a growing pattern of attacks on the data systems of U.S. political organizations by hackers whom U.S. intelligence officials and private cyber security firms have concluded are working for or with Russian intelligence agencies.

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has hired consultants CrowdStrike to bolster its data security. But two people familiar with attempts to breach the campaign and other Republican organizations said that so far there was no indication of a penetration as serious as those of the Democratic organizations, and CrowdStrike is not investigating any successful hacking of Trump campaign data.

(Reporting By Mark Hosenball and Ginger Gibson.; Editing by John Walcott and Jonathan Oatis)

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Elections 2016

Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls

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When Robert Mueller completed his long-awaited investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he left many questions unanswered.

But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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Elections 2016

Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans

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The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.

In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.

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Elections 2016

Conservative Ben Shapiro tweeted something many found offensive — so now he’s calling his critics ‘garbage’

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Right wing "thought leader" Ben Shapiro appeared today to say not using the "N" word is nearly impossible as he defended conservative, pro-gun teen Kyle Kashuv, one of the Parkland survivors who just had his acceptance to Harvard rescinded over his racist remarks, which included repeated use of the "N" word.

To be clear, Shapiro denies that's what he meant.

Here is Shapiro on Twitter, in what many took as him appearing to call not using the "N" word – in Kashuv's case, repeatedly, over and over and over again, "an insane, cruel standard no one can possibly meet."

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