Some $2.3 million was stolen from the Wisconsin Republican Party’s account by hackers, according to the party’s chairman.
Those funds were being used to assist in President Donald Trump’s reelection in a battleground state that Trump won in 2016, Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt told The Associated Press.
Hitt said the FBI is investigating the hack.
He said the hack may have been through a phishing attempt, which is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to get individuals to reveal passwords and other personal information.
“There’s no doubt RPW [the Wisconsin GOP] is now at a disadvantage with that money being gone,” Hitt told the news agency, adding that the party and Trump’s campaign needs the cash to make decisions quickly with just days to go before the Nov. 3 election.
Hitt said the Wisconsin GOP had contracted four vendors to send direct mail and provide pro-Trump hats and other materials to supporters. When the Wisconsin GOP paid for those services, the funds went to the hackers rather than the vendors, he told the AP.
The Wisconsin Republican Party didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Trump won the state by fewer than 30,000 votes in 2016 over Hillary Clinton, and the president has frequently visited the state during the 2020 election cycle.
Trump is scheduled to visit Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Oct. 30. He’s scheduled to speak at the Austin Straubel International Airport at 2:30 p.m., according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic presidential rival, is also slated to visit Wisconsin on Oct. 30, although the location and timing are unclear, according to the paper.
Earlier this week, scammers hacked Trump’s campaign website for a brief period of time, alleging in a grammatically incorrect screed that Trump is spreading “fake news.” The website reverted back to normal shortly afterward, although it isn’t clear how the hackers got control of the campaign website.
The message also linked to two Monero cryptocurrency addresses.
“Earlier this evening, the Trump campaign website was defaced and we are working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the source of the attack. There was no exposure to sensitive data because none of it is actually stored on the site,” Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement on Oct. 27.