In a story that seems almost unbelievable, multiple White House officials were reportedly fooled by an “email prankster” who impersonated Jared Kushner and Reince Preibus. In an interesting twist, one of the fake-Priebus emails fooled the now-ousted Anthony Scaramucci and caused quite an exchange, but the most incredible detail so far appears to be how Trump’s cybersecurity expert, Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert, fell for a fake dinner invitation from fake-Kushner and even handed over his personal email address. CNN’s screenshot of the email reveals that “[SUSPECTED_SPAM]” appeared in the emails subject line, but Bossert still answered the email:
“Tom, we are arranging a bit of a soirée towards the end of August,” the fake Jared Kushner on an Outlook account wrote to the official White House email account of Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert. “It would be great if you could make it, I promise food of at least comparible (sic) quality to that which we ate in Iraq. Should be a great evening.”
Bossert wrote back: “Thanks, Jared. With a promise like that, I can’t refuse. Also, if you ever need it, my personal email is” (redacted).
That’s not all. Here’s what fake-Priebus wrote to Scaramucci, who fell for it, possibly because he was already clearly beefing with real-Priebus:
“I had promised myself I would leave my hands mud free, but after reading your tweet today which stated how; ‘soon we will learn who in the media who has class, and who hasn’t’, has pushed me to this. That tweet was breathtakingly hypocritical, even for you. At no stage have you acted in a way that’s even remotely classy, yet you believe that’s the standard by which everyone should behave towards you? General Kelly will do a fine job. I’ll even admit he will do a better job than me. But the way in which that transition has come about has been diabolical. And hurtful. I don’t expect a reply.”
Scaramucci got a little testy, at first saying, “You know what you did. We all do.” And after a few more exchanges, he refused to respond altogether. The madness continued unabated until — oddly — Eric Trump figured out what was going on. The same Eric Trump who doesn’t work in the White House? Amazing. As it turns out, this prankster employed the same spear-fishing tactic that fooled John Podesta during the infamous DNC email hacking.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a brief statement to CNN: “We take all cyber related issues very seriously and are looking into these incidents further.”