Ian Prior

Mercury Public Affairs is supporting the National Republican Congressional Committee handle the crisis connected to news that it was hacked during the 2018 election cycle.

An outside vendor informed GOP officials about the cyber attack in April, but the party decided to remain silent, claiming that going public with the news would hinder its internal probe.

Politico broke the news of the attack today.

Ian Prior, VP at Mercury, serves as spokesperson for the NRCC. He confirmed the committee was a "victim of a cyber intrusion by an unknown entity."

He said once the NRCC learned of the attack, it "launched an internal investigation and notified the FBI, which is now investigating the matter."

The NRCC will offer no further comment about the hack to protect the integrity the investigation, according to Prior, who was PA director at the Justice Dept. and national press secretary at the NRCC before joining Omnicom's Mercury unit.

The news of the attack comes at a bad time for NRCC as it seeks to rebuild following the loss of 40 seats and control of the House in last month's election.

The hack also is a cause of embarrassment as President Trump had ridiculed the Democratic National Committee following its hack.

"The DNC should be ashed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked," Trump told CBS in July "I heard they were trying to hack the Republicans, too. But, and this may be wrong, they had stronger defenses."