April 23rd, 2010
03:51 PM ET
11 years ago

Palin: E-mail hack was an 'illegal action'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/20/art.spalin08h.gi.jpg caption ="A Tennessee man is accused of hacking into then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s person e-mail account during the 2008 presidential campaign."](CNN) - Sarah Palin, speaking to reporters Friday after testifying against a Tennessee man accused of breaking in to her personal e-mail account, dismissed the defense's argument that the incident was nothing more than "silly prank."

"I don't think an illegal action like this is a prank," Palin said after the courtroom appearance in Knoxville, Tennessee. "Not when you consider how impacting it was on a presidential election. It went beyond a prank."

Palin compared the e-mail hack to an office break-in, with "documents stolen and disclosed to the rest of the world."

Federal prosecutors are presenting their case against University of Tennessee student David Kernell, 22, who is charged with felony identity theft, wire fraud, intentionally accessing Palin's e-mail account in September 2008 without authorization, and obstructing an FBI investigation.

The former Republican vice presidential nominee recalled feeling "uncomfortable" after learning from media reports that her e-mail account was compromised. She was campaigning in Michigan at the time.

"The first screen shot I saw was of a friend who was going through a divorce, and it was a very personal e-mail that she sent me," Palin said. "I felt horrible for her. And throughout this it has been feeling been very bad for the other victims in this. Friends and family who have had to change all their contacts, all their e-mail addresses."

She called the loss of her e-mail account a "big darn deal" because it was her primary means of keeping in touch with her family back in Alaska.

Palin said top officials inside John McCain's presidential campaign immediately became concerned that politically damaging private e-mails would leak. But Palin said she told campaign advisers to "just chill" because there were no "horrible e-mails" that would "end up derailing the McCain campaign."

Filed under: 2008 Election • Sarah Palin
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. WhoCares?

    Well..she got to use this limelight to once again use her children.

    Worst mother ever! Makes Brittany Spears seem like a good one.

    April 23, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. REG in AZ

    I think it is crazy to be conned into supporting anything that is obviously completely against one’s own best interests. Today anyone in the majority (>90%) who is manipulated by the gross dishonesty and self-serving irresponsibility of the Republican Party falls into that self-delusional category. I don’t fault favoring traditional Republican philosophy over Democratic, I do myself, but the Republicans have drastically departed from any sincere concern for the average American and have become owned and controlled ‘puppets’ for Special Interests and the influential, powerful and extremely wealthy few who ‘pull their strings’. Bush-Cheney clearly demonstrated all of this over their eight years by blatantly and arrogantly using their offices and America’s resources for a private agenda to benefit only the few (<5%) and while giving everyone else just apathy, the costs and an abundance of subterfuge. The Republican Party totally supported all of it and continue now in trying to use scare tactics and deceptive appeals to excite emotions and manipulate public opinion, hoping to return to ‘more of the same’, all while they unconscionably offer absolutely nothing for the average American. The Democrats are far from perfect and need to be held accountable but to allow our emotions to be subverted and used to create support for ‘more of the same’ is the crazy I referred to. The problems are not because the Democrats are spending; rather the Democrats are advocating spending in response to the problems they inherited. Our only real hope is in demanding that the Democrats act responsibly and in firmly rejecting what the Republicans have become.

    April 23, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Beverly H Tatum

    Palin is the "hack" and who cares what was in her email? If she can't speak inteliigently, can't and doesn't read, then what would be in her email but garbage and lies?

    Please stop the Palin stories. She is a moron who no intelligent American wants to ever hear from again. She is a quitter, a loser, an extremist, a racist, a dangerous violence-inciter, and a perfect example of how bad our education system has become. The woman can't speak in complete sentences, doesn't use proper grammar, doesn't know the history of our country, has no clue what goes on outside America, and is a fool who is making herself rich off of other fools.

    More than 70% of Republicans say she is not qualified for political office so why is she in the news everyday? She and the tea baggers are OLD NEWS and a boring story.

    April 23, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. stevetall

    And who would know better about "illegal" activities? Sarah the smarmy ex-governor who did plenty of abusive things from her office, not limited to her actions to have her former brother-in-law booted from the Alaska Highway Patrol. Something smells funny, and I think it's Sarah's rotting sense of right and wrong!

    April 23, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Laurie

    The incident did not affect the outcome of the Presidential election. Your big mouth did. Oh by the way, where is your Christian value of forgiveness? Did God tell you to insist that this young man do jail time because he cost you and that creepy old codger the election? You are a self centered creep.

    April 23, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. RT

    OK, I can see how maybe they could charge the kid with identity theft but the bigger issue remains is why she was using personal email for official government business? I mean, c'mon, that was really, really stupid and irresponsible of her. Once again, this little glimmer provides a snapshot of how ignorant this woman is and how the gerbil runs on the treadmill in her brain. This deserves a facepalm.

    April 23, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. Marie MD


    April 23, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. Susan in Arkansas

    Would someone PLEASE find this woman an English teacher, who can provide her with lessons in the proper use of the language? As a college graduate, she should be able to speak more intelligently.

    April 23, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    Suzan April 23rd, 2010 4:45 pm ET

    This had nothing to do with her and McCain losing the election.......McCain lost it because of the stupidity of this woman.......plain and simple........
    I agree with you on the first point. This had nothing to do with her and McCain losing the election. But McCain lost it because of the gullibility of 60% of the American people. They believed Obama was ready for the job. He quickly proved them wrong...plain and simple....

    April 23, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    -Having the state pay for your children's travel is an illegal action.
    -Taking money for a bridge and redirecting it to other projects is an illegal action
    -Indimidating a state trooper is an illegal action

    Palin's own history is filled with "illegal actions".....funny when you are the one caught...all of the sudden it is "the liberal media having a vendetta against you..... "

    Palin should remember "people in moose houses should not throw snowmobiles"

    April 23, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. Brickell Princess

    I wish Palin would get pregnant and shut up for 9 to12 months while her Satan child comes out.

    April 23, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. Jann in Denver

    The dumbest woman in the world speaks again.

    April 23, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. DemspartyofHypocrites

    So because some of you airheads don't like Sara Palin that makes it ok for someone to hack into her persnal email?? You people are as rediculous as you are stupid. I can guarantee if it had happened to you, you would be pretty upset about it. But, if it happens to someone you don't like then it is ok to do it? Morons.....

    April 23, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. a little sad

    "I don't think an illegal action like this is a prank," Palin said after the courtroom appearance in Knoxville, Tennessee. "Not when you consider how impacting it was on a presidential election. It went beyond a prank."


    Does she think they lost because someone got into her email?

    April 23, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |

    I agree (unfortunately w/ Palin). Hacking is a scary thing, and is criminal.
    But that's all I agree w/ her on.

    April 23, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. a little sad

    DemspartyofHypocrites April 23rd, 2010 5:15 pm ET

    So because some of you airheads don't like Sara Palin that makes it ok for someone to hack into her persnal email??


    Since she was using it to conduct state of Alaska business, it was no longer her personal email.

    Never mind that she was using it in an attempt to circumvent Alaska laws.

    April 23, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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