In one of the quicker flip-flops in recent memory, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, stated unequivocally that Russian hackers had infiltrated the Republican National Committee as well as the Democratic National Committee, but retracted the claim less than an hour later, saying he "misspoke."
It started when McCaul, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the RNC has also been hacked when asked if he thought the Russians were trying to influence the presidential election in favor of the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
"Are they trying to influence or just trying to undermine our electoral process?" McCaul asked. "It's important to note, Wolf, that they have not only hacked into the DNC but also into the RNC. So, they are not discriminating one party against the other." The Russians have hacked both parties on a national level, McCaul said.
Blitzer asked McCaul to clarify his comments because there have been no previous reports of the RNC being hacked, and no information from any hack has been leaked.
"Yes, they have hacked into the Republican National Committee," McCaul stated without reservation. The congressman said he learned of the hack in intelligence briefings. "They're not picking sides here, I don't think. They're hacking into both political parties. What they intend to do with that information I don't know."
"They have infiltrated both parties at the national level," McCaul continued. "Why they've released some documents and not others, we don't know those intentions." McCaul said they might be planning to release the Republican data at a later date.
Sean Spicer, the RNC's communication director, quickly took to Twitter to refute McCaul's statement.
McCaul then retracted his repeated statements that the RNC had been hacked. "I misspoke by asserting the RNC was hacked," McCaul said in a tweet. "What I meant to say was, in addition to DNC, Republican political operatives have also been hacked."