Black Congressman Says He Gets 'Avalanche of Mean-Spirited' Calls After Personal Numbers Leaked

Missouri congressman says a number of calls came from 'N-word sickos.'

August 20, 2016, 3:09 PM
PHOTO: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat from Missouri, speaks during an interview in Washington, March 25, 2015.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat from Missouri, speaks during an interview in Washington, March 25, 2015.
David Banks/Bloomberg via Getty Images

— -- An African American congressman who represents Kansas City, Missouri, said he has received an “avalanche of mean-spirited phone calls” -- including from "N-word sickos" -- since hackers allegedly leaked the cell phone numbers and other personal information of nearly all Democrats in the House of Representatives last week.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said in a statement to ABC News that his cell phone number and other personal information were released in the alleged leak on Aug. 12.

“I received a number of calls from N-word sickos,” Cleaver said in the statement to ABC News today.

Cleaver has changed his phone number and has ramped up security at his personal residence because his home address was also made public, according to his spokesperson.

The alleged leak came after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the official campaign arm for House Democrats, told ABC News in late July it had been “the target of a cybersecurity incident,” just weeks after the Democratic National Committee also revealed it had been hacked.

The campaign committee's national press secretary Meredith Kelly told ABC News last week that the committee is aware of reports that sensitive information belonging to congressional Democrats has been leaked.

“As previously noted, the DCCC has been the target of a cybersecurity incident, and we are cooperating with federal law enforcement in their ongoing investigation. We are aware of reports that documents claimed to be from our network have been released and are investigating their authenticity,” Kelly said in a statement to ABC News on Aug. 12.

The FBI is looking into the leak of personal information of House Democrats, with officials suspecting that Russian hackers are behind the cyberattack on Democratic organizations that came to public attention in late July.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking Democrat in Congress, called the alleged leak of House Democrats' personal information an "electronic Watergate."

In a letter to House Democratic members on Aug. 13, Pelosi wrote, "As you are aware, the DCCC and other Democratic Party entities have been the target of cybersecurity intrusions -- an electronic Watergate break-in."

As of last night, a mix of personal and official information of Democratic Members and hundreds of congressional staff, purportedly from a hack of the DCCC, was posted online," Pelosi wrote.

Pelosi said she was among those whose phone number was leaked.

"On a personal note, I was in the air flying from Florida to California when the news broke. Upon landing, I have received scores of mostly obscene and sick calls, voicemails and text messages," she wrote. "This is a sad course of events, not only for us, but more importantly for our country."

The House Democratic Caucus also sent a notice to its members on Aug. 13 advising them to change the passwords to all their email accounts, even personal ones, and "to strongly consider changing passwords associated with sensitive personal accounts such as banking institutions."

An investigation into the cyberattack on the Democratic campaign committee is ongoing but investigators have said "this is similar to other recent incidents, including the DNC breach," Kelly said in a statement to ABC News in late July.

ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps, Alexander Mallin and Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.

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