A Romanian computer hacker now in U.S. custody lied when he claimed to have accessed the private email server of Hillary Clinton, the director of the FBI told Congress on Thursday. The bureau interviewed the hacker, known as Guccifer, as part of its investigation into Clinton’s email use. He “admitted that was a lie,” Director James Comey said of Guccifer’s claims, which he made in an interview with Fox News in May.
Guccifer did, however, access the email of Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, Comey confirmed. Earlier this week, without mentioning Blumenthal by name, Comey told reporters that “it is possible that hostile actors” accessed Clinton’s email account, in part because they had “gained access to the private commercial email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account.” Blumenthal and Clinton were in regular contact about matters of sensitive foreign policy and national security, according to emails that have been released by Guccifer, whose real name is Marcel Lazăr Lehel, and through lawsuits seeking information about Clinton’s email system.