Sharyl Attkisson, an Emmy Award-winning former investigative reporter for CBS News, has revealed a startling claim in her upcoming book detailing difficulties working with the Obama administration that a “government-related entity” placed spyware on her computer and planted classified documents on it.
Attkisson worked for CBS for nearly 20 years before resigning in March 2014. She resigned following months of alleged discord between herself and CBS. Attkisson reportedly grew frustrated with CBS allegedly attempting to whitewash several of her reporting endeavors, such as investigating the Benghazi scandal.
Attkisson told the New York Post that the media tends to avoid or minimize certain reports that news station advertisers might find offensive, using stories about investigating pharmaceutical companies or car manufacturers as examples. Sources at CBS countered that Attkisson was “polarizing” and had adopted an anti-Obama administration agenda in her reporting.
In an interview with the New York Post, Attkisson claims that while CBS lost interest in her investigative reporting, the White House voiced objection to her investigations of the Obama administration. She said that Deputy White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz once yelled at her about the Fast and Furious scandal, saying “the Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, The New York Times is reasonable. You’re the only one who’s not reasonable!”
Attkisson has come forward with the bold accusation that a “government-related entity” bugged her computer to spy on her. She said that in 2013 she had her computer checked for spyware and it was discovered that an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” caused a security breach. Attkisson said her source, an individual she calls Number One “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her that her computer was compromised by a “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”
Attkisson said that the spyware included keystroke-monitoring, which allowed access to her passwords and bank accounts. “The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” Attkisson wrote in her upcoming book Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.
Attkisson said Number One also discovered three classified documents “buried deep” in her operating system. “In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”
In 2013, CBS acknowledged that “Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions in late 2012,” before Attkisson pointed to the federal government as the culprit. In June 2013, the Justice Department stated “To our knowledge, the Justice Department has never compromised Ms. Attkisson’s computers, or otherwise sought any information from or concerning any telephone, computer, or other media device she may own or use.” The White House has declined to comment on Attkisson’s book.