Reuters bragged Friday about its scoop that Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was once involved in a notorious hacker group, but revealed in the process that one of its reporters willingly sat on the story until after O’Rourke lost his Texas Senate race to incumbent Ted Cruz. Reuters’ Joseph Menn reported exclusively Friday morning that O’Rourke, a former member of Congress and the latest Democrat to join the 2020 presidential race, had a secret membership in an infamous hacking group. The group, known as the Cult of the Dead Cow (CDC), is the oldest and perhaps most influential collection of hackers in the U.S. O’Rourke was among the group’s members when he was a teenager and the group has protected his secret for decades in order to avoid damaging his political career. But Menn, who has a forthcoming book about the CDC, first learned that O’Rourke was a member of the group over a year ago in late 2017. Reuters explained in a “backstory” article late Friday that Menn held onto the story until after O’Rourke’s high-profile Senate race in exchange for an on-the-record interview. Menn says he was on leave from Reuters at the time in order to work on his book.
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