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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The FBI is investigating suspected attempts to hack mobile phones used by Democratic Party officials as recently as the past month, four people with direct knowledge of the attack and the investigation told Reuters.

The revelation underscores the widening scope of the U.S. criminal inquiry into cyber attacks on Democratic Party organizations, including the presidential campaign of its candidate, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

U.S. officials have said they believe those attacks were orchestrated by hackers backed by the Russian government, possibly to disrupt the Nov. 8 election in which Clinton faces Republican Party candidate Donald Trump. Russia has dismissed allegations it was involved in cyber attacks on the organizations.

The more recent attempted phone hacking also appears to have been conducted by Russian-backed hackers, two people with knowledge of the situation said.

Federal Bureau of Investigation representatives had no immediate comment, and a Clinton campaign spokesman said they were unaware of the suspected phone hacking.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) did not respond to a request for comment. An official of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) said that nobody at the organization had been contacted by investigators about possible phone hacking.

Interim DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile told CNN: “Our struggle with the Russian hackers that we announced in June is ongoing – as we knew it would be – and we are choosing not to provide general updates unless personal data or other sensitive information has been accessed or stolen.”

FBI agents had approached a small number of Democratic Party officials to discuss concerns their mobile phones may have been compromised by hackers, people involved said. It was not clear how many people were targeted by the hack or whether they included members of Congress, a possibility that could raise additional security concerns for U.S. officials.

If they were successful, hackers could have been able to acquire a wide range of data from targeted cellphones, including call data, text messages, emails, photos and contact lists, one person with knowledge of the situation said.

“In a sense, your phone is your office brain,” said Bruce Schneier, a cyber security expert with Resilient, an IBM company, which is not involved in the investigation. “It’s incredibly intimate.”

“Anything that’s on your phone, if your phone is hacked, the hacker can get it.”

The FBI has asked some of those whose phones were believed to have hacked to turn over their phones so that investigators could “image” them, creating a copy of the device and related data.

U.S. investigators are looking into whether hackers used data stolen from servers run by Democratic organizations or the private emails of their employees to get access to cellphones, one person said.

Hackers previously targeted servers used by the DNC, the body that sets strategy for the party, and the DCCC, which raises money for Democrats running for seats in the House of Representatives, officials have said.

Clinton said during Monday’s presidential debate there was “no doubt” Russia has sponsored hacks against “all kinds of organizations in our country” and mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin by name.

“Putin is playing a really tough, long game here. And one of the things he’s done is to let loose cyber attackers to hack into government files, to hack into personal files, hack into the Democratic National Committee,” Clinton said.

Trump countered that there was no definitive proof that Russia had sponsored the hacks of Democratic organizations.

“I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC,” he said. “It could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people.”

(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Kevin Krolicki and Grant McCool)

IMAGE: The headquarters of the Democratic National Committee is seen in Washington, U.S. June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)