The FBI may have been forced into a misstep when investigating whether Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee -- the agency never directly examined the DNC servers that were breached.

Instead, the FBI had to rely on forensic evidence provided by third-party cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which the DNC hired to mitigate the breach.

“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed,” the agency said on Thursday in a statement.

The incident threatens to spark more skepticism over whether the U.S. properly arrived at its conclusion that Russian cyberspies were responsible for the breach.

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