First on CNN: Democratic senator requests info from DOE, FBI on Trump appointee's hacking claim

Story highlights

  • Sen. Ron Wyden is seeking information from the FBI and the Department of Energy about a Trump administration appointee who says there is an ongoing federal investigation into "cyber attacks and Internet crimes" committed against him.
  • William C. Bradford told CNN that inflammatory comments that he appeared to have made through the online service Disqus were the result of hacking.

(CNN)Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden is seeking information from the FBI and the Department of Energy about a Trump administration appointee who says there is an ongoing federal investigation into "cyber attacks and Internet crimes" committed against him.

William C. Bradford, the administration's appointee to run the Energy Department's Office of Indian Energy, told CNN on Monday that inflammatory comments that he appeared to have made through the online service Disqus were the result of hacking. The comments on the account, many of which mirror things Bradford has said publicly, include remarks calling former President Barack Obama "the son of a fourth-rate p&*n actress and w@!re."
Bradford told CNN's KFile in an email, "I cannot comment on an ongoing federal investigation into multiple cyber attacks and Internet crimes committed against me over the past several years, to include email intrusions, hacking, and impostors in social media."
    Bradford's claim came in response to evidence CNN's KFile unearthed suggesting the Disqus account belongs to him, including being linked to Bradford through the Google cache, comments on articles Bradford wrote which suggested the commenter was also the author, a request that a fellow commenter get in touch with him using Bradford's contact information, and references to joining the Trump administration.
    In letters to the DOE and FBI on Wednesday, Wyden, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, inquired about the details surrounding that investigation.
    Writing to the DOE Deputy General Counsel Eric Fygi, the senator from Oregon asked that Fygi "please confirm to my office in writing whether you or any other individual in the General Counsel's office has been made aware of any cyberattacks against Mr. Bradford, and if so, what steps your office has taken to ensure that these activities have not compromised his ability to perform the duties demanded by his office."
    In the other letter, addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Wyden asked if Bradford had ever filed a complaint with the bureau about cyber attacks or other Internet crimes and whether the FBI was investigating such wrongdoing against him or whether the bureau was aware of such an investigation. Wyden requested an investigation into the matter if the FBI was not already conducting one.
    "We must ensure a swift resolution to repeated cyber intrusions and identity theft that may have targeted an agency director at the U.S. Department of Energy," Wyden wrote.
    The FBI, DOE and Bradford did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.