Joe Manchin's social media accounts hacked hours before Senate debate, office says

Official social media accounts belonging to West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin were hacked Thursday evening, his office revealed, hours before his first and only scheduled debate with Republican challenger Patrick Morrissey.

"Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin was notified that social media accounts associated with his official office had been hacked," his office said in a statement. "The accounts have since been secured. Manchin and staff are working with state and federal law enforcement officials to prevent further hacking and secure all accounts."

Details about the reported hack, including who performed it and what happened to the accounts during the hack, were not immediately available.

In July, Russian hackers targeted staff employed by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., using a sophisticated password-stealing scheme late last year, according to a report.

Documents released Tuesday by the Defense Department and the director of national intelligence show the Trump administration has dramatically scaled up funding for intelligence operations, including espionage activities aimed at Russia, China and North Korea, amid increasing cyber-threats from those countries.

Fox News ranks the West Virginia Senate race as likely Democrat. Manchin was the only Democrat to vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, owing to the then-nominee's popularity in the deep-red state.

Manchin, who is seeking his second term in the Senate in a state President Trump won by double digits in 2016, came under major pressure from left-wing groups for that vote.

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Several GOP senators received death threats and were harassed in public throughout Kavanaugh's nomination process.

And, a Democratic congressional intern was arrested and accused of posting the personal information of at least one Republican senator during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about the sexual assault claims against Kavanaugh. The intern was promptly fired.

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"As a survivor, I don’t understand how you can’t look me in the eye,” one woman told Manchin on Capitol Hill last month, as reported by The Washington Post.

But the former West Virginia governor was resolute. “I can,” Manchin replied. “I’m looking right at you.”