A Timeline of Russia's Hacking Into US Political Organizations Before the Election

U.S. intelligence has said it is "confident" Russia is behind the hacks.

ByABC News
December 15, 2016, 1:01 PM

— -- President-elect Donald Trump has been arguing in recent days against U.S. intelligence reports that say Russia interfered with the 2016 election by hacking and releasing damaging information related to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Today, he called out the Obama administration directly, asking on Twitter why it waited "so long to act" and why it complained "only after Hillary lost?"

"Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!" Trump tweeted Monday.

He also tweeted on Monday, "Why wasn't this brought up before election?"

Here is the timeline of related events -- from when it was first reported that Russia gained access to the Democratic National Committee's computer network to Trump's most recent interview in which he dismisses the reports of hacking as "ridiculous."

June 14

“Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.” The Washington Post first reported.

June 15

Respected American cyber-technology firm Crowdstrike releases a detailed statement about Russian hacking of the DNC.

July 22

WikiLeaks publishes the first in a series of hacked emails taken from the DNC.

It releases a statement on Twitter reading, "Today, Friday 22 July 2016 at 10:30am EDT, WikiLeaks releases 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from the top of the US Democratic National Committee -- part one of our new Hillary Leaks series," the introduction says.

"The leaks come from the accounts of seven key figures in the DNC," including Communications Director Luis Miranda (10,770 emails), National Finance Director Jordon Kaplan (3,797 emails), Finance Chief of Staff Scott Comer and others. The newly released emails cover the period from January 2015 through May 25, 2016.

July 24

-Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigns from her position as DNC Chair amid email revelations that party officials were trying to undermine the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

-Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook tells ABC News' "This Week" that their researchers (Crowdstrike) believe the Russians are responsible for the attack.

July 25

-The FBI announces it's investigating the hack.

"The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter," a statement from the FBI reads.

-The DNC apologizes to Sen. Sanders.

July 27

In a news conference at his golf club in Doral, Florida, Trump tells reporters that if Russia is behind the DNC hack that they most likely accessed her deleted emails from her tenure as secretary of state.

"By the way, if they hacked, they probably have her 33,000 emails. I hope they do," Trump said. "They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted."

He then says, directly facing toward the cameras: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."

July 28

Donald Trump, in an interview with Fox News' "Fox & Friends," clarifies that "of course" he was being "sarcastic" with his comments about Russia hacking into Clinton's deleted emails.

Oct. 6

DC Leaks publishes some hacked DNC emails.

Oct. 7

-Beginning on Oct. 7, WikiLeaks publishes the first in a series of 50,000 emails belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

-The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of the National Intelligence issue a joint statement concluding: “The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.”

-House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, releases a statement on his committee’s website saying, in part, “this is a direct provocation against our people and our democracy. The Russian government has now targeted members of both political parties and appears intent on undermining confidence in our electoral process.”

Oct. 9

During the second presidential debate, Trump questions whether Russia is behind the hacks and suggests "maybe there is no hacking."

“I notice any time anything wrong happens, they like to say ‘The Russians!’ She doesn't know if it's the Russians doing the hacking," Trump said of his rival Hillary Clinton. "Maybe there is no hacking. But they always blame Russia and the reason they blame Russia is because they think they are trying to tarnish me with Russia."

Nov. 7

WikiLeaks releases second batch of thousands of DNC emails.

Nov. 17

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, tells reporters she believes there should be a federal investigation into the hacking and that her team's own investigations alongside the DNC and other Democratic groups had led them to believe it was the Russians.

Dec. 9

-President Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser Lisa Monaco announces at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington that the intelligence community’s review of the Russian hacking incident will be completed before the inauguration and presented to Congress.

-The Washington Post reports that the CIA says the hack was done to help Trump get elected.

-The New York Times matches the Post's reporting and says the Republican National Committee was also hacked but information wasn’t shared.

-Trump's transition team, in a statement, says of the intelligence community: "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again.'"

Dec. 11

-RNC Chairman, and Trump's incoming White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus and Trump deny the RNC was hacked and separately deny that Russia was trying to interfere in the election, counter to the DHS and DNI's October statement.

-In an interview that aired Dec. 11, Trump tells "Fox News Sunday" that the reports of Russia hacking are "ridiculous" and "another excuse" that Democrats are giving for their loss in the election. Trump also argues that U.S. intelligence has "no idea" if Russia or China are behind the hackings.

"It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. I mean, they have no idea," Trump said.

-Sen. John McCain on CBS's "Face the Nation" calls for a select committee to investigate the Russian hacking, saying "it’s clear the Russians interfered."

"Now, whether they intended to interfere to the degree that they were trying to elect a certain candidate, I think that’s a subject of investigation," McCain said.

The Arizona senator also says getting a select committee would take time, but in the meantime said he asked Sen. Lindsey Graham to chair a subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services to investigate the Russian interference, "along with a really smart Democrat."

Dec. 14

-Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, who chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, releases a statement, calling it "unacceptable" that intelligence community directors declined the House Intelligence Committee's request to be briefed on the hacking.

"The Committee is vigorously looking into reports of cyber-attacks during the election campaign, and in particular we want to clarify press reports that the CIA has a new assessment that it has not shared with us," Nunes added in the statement. "The Committee is deeply concerned that intransigence in sharing intelligence with Congress can enable the manipulation of intelligence for political purposes."

-Additional media reports say Putin was personally involved in the hacking of the DNC.

-The Director of National Intelligence releases a statement late Wednesday saying that once the presidential-ordered review has concluded, they will then brief Congress.

"Last week, the President ordered a full Intelligence Community review of foreign efforts to influence recent Presidential elections -- from 2008 to present. Once the review is complete in the coming weeks, the Intelligence Community stands ready to brief Congress -- and will make those findings available to the public consistent with protecting intelligence sources and methods. We will not offer any comment until the review is complete," the DNI statement reads.