After the Democratic National Committee became aware that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign accessed confidential voter information from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, it determined that the Sanders campaign should face consequences.
As a result, the DNC suspended the Sanders campaign’s access to its own voter database, which includes information voters from across the country.
The breach was brought to light on Thursday after Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, admitted that one of Sanders’ staffers viewed the Clinton campaign’s private voter data. However, he insisted that it was due to a software glitch which allowed the access.
Weaver said none of the data was downloaded, so he believes the Sanders campaign no longer has access to it. He blamed the breach on the software vendor in charge of the DNC’s voter data.
Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Sanders’ campaign, also blamed the vendor, and claimed that “on more than one occasion, the vendor has dropped the firewall between the data of different Democratic campaigns.”
“Our campaign months ago alerted the D.N.C. to the fact that campaign data was being made available to other campaigns,” Briggs said. “At that time our campaign did not run to the media, relying instead on assurances from the vendor.”
Stu Trevelyan, the chief of the vendor NGP VAN, which handles the DNC’s master file of voter data and then disperses it to individual campaigns, told the Washington Post that the breach occurred on Wednesday “while a patch was being applied to the software.”
Briggs said the staffer who viewed the Clinton campaign’s data was fired after the incident, and he claimed that the glitch within the system also made the Sanders campaign’s voter data vulnerable to its competitors.
The suspension comes just before the third Democratic debate, which will be hosted by ABC News and held in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Saturday.
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