Politics: Steyer aide resigns after downloading Kamala Harris campaign data: Officials - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Steyer aide resigns after downloading Kamala Harris campaign data: Officials

09:15  06 november  2019
09:15  06 november  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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A Tom Steyer aide has resigned after allegedly stealing presidential campaign data from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) The Democratic National Committee announced Monday that an aide for the billionaire 2020 candidate had downloaded volunteer data belonging to Harris ' campaign in South

Tom Steyer aide downloaded rival Kamala Harris ' South Carolina campaign data : Officials . The Steyer campaign said Sims accidentally downloaded Harris ’ files thinking they belonged to their own campaign . He then alerted the DNC that he had access to the data , a spokesperson on the Steyer

A staffer on 2020 presidential candidate Tom Steyer’s campaign downloaded volunteer data that belonged to fellow presidential hopeful California Sen. Kamala Harris' South Carolina campaign operation, according to the Democratic National Committee, which issued a cease and desist letter for breach of access Saturday.

Kamala Harris who is smiling and looking at the camera: Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA, speaks during a town hall at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Oct. 28, 2019.© Mark Makela/Getty Images, FILE Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA, speaks during a town hall at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Oct. 28, 2019.

The Steyer campaign staffer was identified as Dwane Sims by both the Steyer campaign and Democratic National Committee to ABC News.

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A staffer on 2020 candidate Tom Steyer ’s campaign downloaded volunteer data that belonged to fellow presidential hopeful California Sen. Kamala Harris ' South Carolina campaign operation, according to the Democratic National Committee

A staffer for Tom Steyer ’s presidential campaign resigned on Monday after gaining access to Senator Kamala Harris ’s campaign data , according to the The Steyer campaign said the download was inadvertent, and that Sims immediately notified Democratic party officials once the download began.

Steyer's campaign said Sims accidentally downloaded Harris' files thinking they belonged to their own campaign. He then alerted the DNC that he had access to the data, a spokesperson on the Steyer campaign said.

Call information and logs of when the files were downloaded obtained by ABC News from a source with direct knowledge show Sims phoned the DNC at 2:56 p.m. on Friday for a 12-minute call, but the data wasn't downloaded until 3 p.m. -- during the call, not prior to it. It is unclear from the logs when exactly the request to download information was made.

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The logs also show that "Harris" is written prominently on the files.

When asked if he deliberately accessed data from the Harris campaign, Sims told ABC News in an exclusive interview, “absolutely not,” calling the accusation a “false narrative."

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The Steyer campaign on Monday said the Harris campaign information was inadvertently downloaded because of a glitch that happened when the state party restricted the Sims started downloading Harris ' data , which he believed to be Steyer 's data , according to the campaign official .

A staffer on Tom Steyer 's presidential campaign in South Carolina resigned late Monday after accessing volunteer data from Kamala Harris ' presidential Kamala Harris , left, and Tom Steyer appear at a town hall at the Eastern State Penitentiary on Oct. 28, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“I did not steal data. There was a data breach, which is common. Whether it's your credit card information or your social security number, these things happen. I felt like I took the appropriate action immediately," he said. "However, this incident is painting the campaign in such a bad light that I would rather step away then hurt Tom's chances of really doing something phenomenal. It’s more about the nation and doing the right thing ... But I think the people who know me, know that I'm not going to do anything immoral,”

Sims was placed on administrative leave from the campaign over the weekend, per senior Steyer aides, and the state party banned him from the voter file and all party systems.

As news broke of the breach Monday night, the Steyer campaign announced that Sims had resigned.

Tom Steyer wearing a suit and tie: Democratic presidential candidate businessman Tom Steyer speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Liberty and Justice Celebration, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa.© Nati Harnik/AP Democratic presidential candidate businessman Tom Steyer speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Liberty and Justice Celebration, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa.

"When we first learned about the matter, we conducted an internal investigation and wiped Mr. Sims' computer to make sure the data was completely deleted and that there was no access to other campaign data. We understand the sensitivity and importance of this information," campaign manager Heather Hargreaves said in a statement.

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Steyer ’s campaign maintained that the breach was an accident and said Sims promptly contacted party officials about the problem. DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa told the paper, however, that the DNC system showed Sims downloaded Harris ’ campaign data three minutes after he informed

An aide to Democrat Tom Steyer in South Carolina resigned after accessing volunteer data collected by According to South Carolina Chairman Trav Robertson, state party officials worked with the Harris campaign officials in South Carolina declined to comment. On Twitter, national Harris press

"We apologize to the South Carolina Democratic Party and the DNC. Tom Steyer and the Steyer campaign extend our deepest apology to Senator Kamala Harris and her campaign,” she added.

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Steyer echoed this apology in a tweet soon after, and said he had reached out personally to Harris.

"I was deeply disappointed to learn of this situation and have personally reached out to @KamalaHarris," he wrote. "To every organizer who is putting in the work for a candidate they believe in: I'm grateful for your efforts. Your hard work is what will defeat Donald Trump in 2020."

The DNC said it does not intend to file charges.

“It is being labeled as unethical and in violation of our policy,” DNC communications director, Xochitl Hinjosax told ABC News. “He downloaded information for another campaign, and then he was forced to delete. I will leave it to others to decide what they want to call it, but it's definitely unethical.” she added.

The Harris campaign, which owns the data, declined to comment when asked whether charges would be pressed.

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An aide to Tom Steyer ’s presidential campaign in South Carolina resigned on Monday following an internal investigation after it was discovered he had downloaded volunteer data from Sen. Kamala Harris ’s (D-Calif.)

Kamala Harris of California. Steyer ’s campaign confirmed on Monday evening that Dwane Sims, the billionaire candidate’s deputy South Carolina state director, offered his resignation Tom Steyer and the Steyer campaign extend our deepest apology to Senator Kamala Harris and her campaign .”

Prior to joining the Steyer campaign, Sims worked as the voter file manager at the South Carolina Democratic Party.

According to the state party, after leaving his post, Sims "maintained a separate user account, which is in clear violation of the VoteBuilder protocol." VoteBuilder is a software program used by Democratic campaigns to combine data and reach voters.

Sims told ABC News his profile was deleted when he left his position at the state party to join the Steyer campaign.

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Rep. Gilda Cobb Hunter, D-South Carolina, who serves as a member of the DNC executive committee, tells ABC News that there have been security “issues” with the party’s voter database in “previous cycles.”

Harris' campaign reacted to the accusations following the reported revelations, lauding its own work in South Carolina.

“Our organizers and volunteers work incredibly hard, and as this story notes, our campaign "has built a particularly extensive field organizing operation in South Carolina." It's unfortunate anyone would try to steal that work from our team,” said Ian Sams, Harris’ national press secretary.

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