By Michael Graczyk, AP
HOUSTON–A hacker apparently accessed private photos and emails sent between members of the Bush family, including both former presidents, and the Secret Service is investigating.
The Smoking Gun website said the hacker, who went by the online moniker “Guccifer,” gained access to emails, photos, private telephone numbers and addresses of Bush family members and friends. The website displayed photos it said came from the hacker, including one that purported to show the elder Bush during his recent stay in a Houston hospital, where the 88-year-old spent almost two months being treated for complications from a bronchial infection. The authenticity of the photos and other details on the website could not immediately be confirmed. A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush declined to comment on the reports.
“There’s a criminal investigation and, as such, there’s nothing else we can say,” Jim McGrath said Friday.
Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie said the agency was investigating. He would not elaborate.
In Dallas, where Bush’s son, former President George W. Bush has a home, Bush spokesman Freddy Ford declined to make a statement.
The FBI in Houston, where the elder Bush lives, would not confirm or deny any investigation.
The word “Guccifer” was plastered across the photos published on the website, which quotes “Guccifer” as describing himself as a veteran hacker who has long been in the government’s sights.
Interestingly, the hacker also revealed that George W. Bush enjoys painting. One photo showed Bush standing at an easel, dabbing at a canvas. Two other images were of paintings that seem to be self-portraits in which the former president is shaving in the shower and soaking in a bathtub. Neither shows any nudity.