By Cynthia McFadden, Tim Uehlinger and Tracy Connor
The Romanian hacker who first exposed Hillary Clinton’s private email address is making a bombshell new claim — that he also gained access to the former Secretary of State’s “completely unsecured” server.
“It was like an open orchid on the Internet,” Marcel Lehel Lazar, who uses the devilish handle Guccifer, told NBC News in an exclusive interview from a prison in Bucharest. “There were hundreds of folders.”
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For more of Cynthia McFadden's interview with Guccifer, watch Nightly News on Thursday and the new NBC series “On Assignment,” which debuts Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. CT.
Lazar was extradited last month from Romania to the United States to face charges he hacked political elites, including Gen. Colin Powell, a member of the Bush family, and former Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal.
A source with knowledge of the probe into Clinton's email setup told NBC News that with Guccifer in U.S. custody, investigators fully intend to question him about her server.
When pressed by NBC News, Lazar, 44, could provide no documentation to back up his claims, nor did he ever release anything online supporting his allegations, as he had frequently done with past hacks. The FBI's review of the Clinton server logs showed no sign of hacking, according to a source familiar with the case.
Brian Fallon, national press secretary for Clinton's presidential campaign, said Guccifer's claims were baseless.
"There is absolutely no basis to believe the claims made by this criminal from his prison cell," said Fallon. "In addition to the fact that he offers no proof to support his claims, his descriptions of Secretary Clinton's server are inaccurate. It is unfathomable that he would have gained access to her emails and not leaked them the way he did to his other victims.
"We have received no indication from any government agency to support these claims, nor are they reflected in the range of charges that Guccifer already faces and that prompted his extradition in the first place," Fallon added. "And it has been reported that security logs from Secretary Clinton’s email server do not show any evidence of foreign hacking."
Cynthia McFadden is the senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News.
NBC News Senior National Producer Tim Uehlinger has covered the world for NBC News for nearly a quarter century. Beginning with the first Gulf War and the invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi forces in 1990, and through the Somalia relief efforts in 1992, the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the death of Princess Diana in 1997, the September 11th terror attacks in 2001, the first television interview with Pakistani rights activist Mukhtaran Bibi in 2002, the Iraq war in 2003, the Indonesian tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina, and the Japan tsunami and earthquake in 2011, Tim has been on scene for most of the major news events and humanitarian crises of our times.
Tim is a multiple Emmy Award winner and in recent years served as a lead producer on two important NBC News exclusives, “Inside the Obama White House” for which he received an Emmy for Best Writing, and “The Situation Room: Inside the Hunt for Osama Bin Laden.” One of his latest Emmy awards was for his coverage of “The Miracle on the Hudson” in 2010.
Tracy Connor is a senior writer for NBC News. She started this role in December, 2012. Connor is responsible for reporting and writing breaking news, features and enterprise stories for NBCNews.com. Connor joined NBC News from the New York Daily News, where she was a senior writer covering a broad range of news and supervising the health and immigration beats. Prior to that she was an assistant city editor who oversaw breaking news and the courts and entertainment beats.
Earlier, Connor was a staff writer at the New York Post, United Press International and Brooklyn Paper Publications.
Connor has won numerous awards from journalism organizations including the Deadline Club and the New York Press Club.