Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta's Twitter account has been hacked just days after allegedly stolen emails from his personal email account were released by whistleblowing site WikiLeaks. On Wednesday night (12 October), his account sent out a tweet saying: "I've switched teams. Vote Trump 2016. Hi pol." The tweet was quickly deleted.
It is still unclear who was responsible for the breach and subsequent errant tweet.
The Clinton campaign later confirmed that Podesta's social media account had been hacked.
"We can confirm that John's Twitter account was hacked, which would explain the message you all disembarked from the plane and received," spokesman Nick Merrill told reporters travelling with the Democratic candidate before a rally in Las Vegas. "We're working on fixing it."
Last week, WikiLeaks published thousands of emails stolen from Podesta's personal email account, offering a glimpse into the inner workings of Clinton's campaign.
Earlier, Podesta blamed the hack on the Russian government, escalating the Clinton camp's charge that the Kremlin is directing cyberattacks in an effort to influence the upcoming election in November.
"It is now clear that the illegal hack of my personal email account was – just like the other recent, election-related hacks – the work of the Russian government," Podesta said in a statement. "This level of meddling by a foreign power can only be aimed at boosting Donald Trump and should send chills down the spine of all Americans, regardless of political party."
On Monday, Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon accused WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange of working on behalf of the Russian government to help elect Republican rival Donald Trump.
"You are no media organisation," Fallon tweeted at WikiLeaks. "You are a propaganda arm of the Russian government, running interference for their pet candidate, Trump."
Clinton's campaign has yet to verify or deny the authenticity of the leaked emails.
Meanwhile, the White House has said it is considering a "proportional" response to Russia's hacking efforts to interfere in the 8 November election shortly after the US formally accused the Russian government of hacking into the computer system of the Democratic National Committee and a range of political organisations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the accusations saying the hacks have "nothing to do with Russia's interests".
"Everyone is talking about who did it. But is it that important?" Putin said. "The most important thing is what is inside this information. There's nothing there benefiting Russia... The hysteria is simply to distract the American people from the contents of what the hackers have posted."