Rob Ford staffer responds to sensational Vice story; says emails are a hoax

Amin Massoudi wants to know if his city email account was ‘spoofed’

by Charlie Gillis

Vice magazine waded into the Rob Ford crack-video saga tonight with a story containing sensational allegations about Amin Massoudi, the mayor’s communications director.

The piece alleges, among other things, that Massoudi sought the services of a hacker to crack the password of a private online directory that allegedly contained a digital copy of the infamous video. It replicates a chain of emails purportedly written between May 18, the day after the crack video story hit the web, and May 31.

The writers of the piece, Patrick McGuire and Rocco Castoro, say Massoudi did not respond to multiple voicemail and emails the left requesting comment. Rob and Doug Ford apparently ignored requests for comment, too.

I’ll let the story speak for itself, but it struck me as odd that Massoudi wouldn’t respond to something so seemingly explosive. So I put in my own queries to him, and here, for the record, is what I got back:

A disturbing and false story on a U.S. website has recently come to my attention. Having reviewed the contents of the story, I can categorically state that at no time did I engage in any of the activities mentioned therein. The entirety of the story is false and everything referenced therein has been fabricated. It is telling that the story neither quotes any named sources nor provides any independent corroboration of the alleged hacker’s information. The story does not meet even the most basic of journalistic standards.

To be clear, at no time did I use a City of Toronto email account – or any other account for that matter – to instruct anyone to hack into anything. I will be requesting that the City of Toronto IT department further investigate this matter to see if my email account has been spoofed, as I have no knowledge of anyone using my email account for this purpose and I have never used it for this purpose myself.

The unnamed source claims to have deleted the very evidence he or she is now trying to pawn over the Internet. Any alleged evidence is clearly fabricated. As the alleged story appears on a sensationalist website based outside the jurisdiction of our courts, then I presume that your organization will not republish for the public these false and defamatory comments now that you have been put on notice of the false and defamatory nature of the comments, which would clearly cause damage to me and others. I may need to seek legal advice to enforce my rights, but it is my hope that your organization would never republish this harmful story.

Amin Massoudi
Communications and Media Relations
Office of Mayor Rob Ford
City of Toronto




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Rob Ford staffer responds to sensational Vice story; says emails are a hoax

  1. Massoudi works for the Fords. Can’t believe a word he writes.

    • Nigel Wright worked for Harper. Can’t believe a word he says.
      After all, even Harper called him deceptive.

  2. I have not seen any claim so outrageous, undocumented, and obviously false since John Cook claimed he saw a video of Rob Ford smoking crack, but refused to provide even one named source for corroboration.

    • right, because that story was proven to be false

      • Only the craziest left-wing conspiracy theorist would say today that Rob Ford smoked crack, and it would border on libel to say that the aforementioned crack-smoking happened during one of the mayor’s drunken stupors.

        • Whew, thanks for clarifying that your post was satirical in nature. I will drink 8 lattes as penance for the misunderstanding.

          • LMAO!

        • *slow claps in appreciation*

  3. Ford runs his city staff like they’re his own personal mafia, all so he can skip work to get high and hang with his drug dealer. How do I become mayo of Toronto?

    • Short answer: You can’t become mayo of Toronto without breaking a couple of legs…er…eggs. I meant eggs. ‘Cause I jumped on a small typo. Honest. I meant eggs, Doug. Before the mayo’s in the jar you need eggs to make the mayo, ha-ha, right? Eggs? Doug? Funny like a…what? Oh. my Go…Nooooooo…..

      • LOL

  4. I wonder if Massoudi can type “alleged” another dozen or so times. Also, the story is not “alleged”: it is a real story and I have read it. Just saying.

  5. Actually, the story was published on Vice Canada, not the U.S. version.

    • haha that is great! My daughter subscribes to Vice = they are very careful in their research from what I have seen.

  6. That is the guiltiest-looking email I have ever read.

    Some communications director!

    • It’s basically just a list of ways that the story is impossible to prove, so don’t bother even trying, guys.

  7. I’m surprised that someone who used to handle Rob Ford’s communications is so well spoken and to the point.

    • A lawyer wrote that for him. The article itself covers his poor grammar/language skills.

      • Hilarious and apropos that Ford’s communications director is near-illiterate.

        • He worked for Doug Ford previously – as his assistant. That says it all right there.

          • Oh Jesus, poor guy. Was his job wiping spittle off a microphone?

  8. This comment was deleted.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • yup. I can vouch for this too

  9. I’m not an expert on the internet, so this is an honest question – is there a way to difinitively tell the difference between an email that has been sent by someone who has ‘spoofed’ an account, and one that was simply sent by the owner/user of that account?

    • If the original e-mail is kept, yes, there is detailed header information not normally visible that tracks the source of the e-mail. But the story indicated that the hacker did not keep the original e-mails and closed that account.

    • Is that you, Amin? Be afraid..be very, very afraid.

    • All email at city hall has to pass through the local servers. For legal purposes, most workplaces store all inbound and outbound email for a period of time. If Amin sent an email from an office computer with a City email account, there’s very likely a copy of it in those archives.

      However, If he had things set up such that it was sent another way, it would be very hard to prove source definitively because you’d have to start auditing header information and backtracking.

      • Consequences will never be the same.

  10. Seems like this is pretty easy to disprove if false.
    The Vice story says the first e-mail was sent when Massoudi worked for Doug Ford. Vice tried to get a copy from City Hall, but apparently only Mayoral correspondence can be requested using the Freedom of Info act.
    If Massoudi has nothing to hide, he can give permission for his e-mails from the time of the alleged hack request to be released.
    I’m sure Mr. Massoudi would have no problem at all with giving this permission, as he has nothing to hide.

    • The burden of proof lies with the accuser, not the accused. By your brilliant logic, all you’d need to get access to someone’s entire e-mail history is to make a false accusation against them. Kind of like Vice is attempting to do here.

      • Well, Rick, I’ve seen samples of your “brilliant logic” below and over the past several months, so I won’t attempt to sink to that level.

        No one is asking for “someone’s entire e-mail history”. There is a very specific time period here. Perhaps a day. Perhaps hours.
        If I were Massoudi, facing such a libel, and had definitive proof it was bogus, I wouldn’t hesitate to release my e-mail from a single day.
        So far, every “outlandish charge” made against Ford and his ilk has been denied until proven true. Frankly none of their words are worth the pixels they are written with.

  11. I would trade Ford for the Ottawa’s mayor Watson anytime,

    • Really? Your life must be short on laughs. I’ll give you that. Watson isn’t hilarious but Ottawa City hall isn’t a zoo burning down either.

  12. Vice. Says enough. The entire publication is based on lies and fabricated stories. More click-bait garbage for the left-wing losers who obsess about Ford to click through.

    It’s quite telling that Charlie Gillis wouldn’t republish the fraudulent e-mails.

      • So the fact that I was wrong about the video existing somehow proves that Vice is a reputable source of information, despite all the evidence to the contrary? Nice try.

        I’ve got a job and a life, so I’m not going to go through every comment you’ve ever made on this website to point out the many times you’ve been completely wrong. You really should get a life.

        • “So the fact that I was wrong about the video existing somehow proves that Vice is a reputable source of information, despite all the evidence to the contrary?”

          No, but it certainly does mean that people aren’t going to take your claim seriously unless you actually present some of that “evidence”. Especially since so many similar such claims got made about Gawker–and The Toronto Star–not that long ago.

          And don’t try to present that Daily Caller article as “evidence”. The author is a terrible hack, and I wouldn’t trust a word he wrotes. Daily Caller is amongst the worst of the worst in partisan, garbage “journalism”.

        • NotRick is so witless he invents comments to respond to:
          “So the fact that I was wrong about the video existing somehow proves
          that Vice is a reputable source of information, despite all the evidence
          to the contrary?”
          Then triumphs over his invention:
          “Nice try.”

          Give yourself a high five, NotRick!

    • “Vice. Says enough.”
      Yes, it’s the same name as the police department investigating Ford.

      • OH SNAP

    • Rick Omen

      • 5 months ago

      It’s truly amazing, now that we know the video never existed, why is the Toronto Star not doing an expose on what is apparently a massive crack dealing operation happening in Toronto? We know that their reporters know the players, why are they not being exposed and arrested as the obvious criminals that they are? Has the Toronto Star stooped so low that they’re now protecting known drug dealers?

      Or was the whole thing a pile of BS from the start

      Rick Omen neuroticdog

      • 5 months ago

      To prove that something exists, you have to see it. Nobodies ever seen this video. So now that we’re being told that it’s gone, it’s a fairly safe assumption that it never existed in the first place.

      There’s a $200,000 check waiting for anybody who can come up with this video, yet there’s complete silence and all the parties who claim to have seen the video now claim they’ll never be able to get it.

      So I’m supposed to believe that there’s a Somali crack dealer out there sitting on a $200,000 video tape, and he’s simply refusing to talk to anybody who wants to give him the money he originally wanted for it?

      Give me a friggin’ break. You’d have to be brain dead to believe this garbage.

      • Wow. Going through my comments from the last 6 months. You really need to find a hobby, or a job, or something better to do with your time.

        Tell me, have you ever been wrong about something? Or are you incapable of forming your own opinion?

        • of course i’ve been wrong, and as soon as i realize it, i apologize. i don’t insult others, or deny, deflect and lie.

          • Yeah, what a Rob Ford move that would be.

  13. PR rule #1. Ignoring queries, saying “no comment” and/or sending out libel chill correspondence = guilty. This guy shoulda got his public relations education before going into comms for the Big Man. In way over his head.

  14. Emails are pretty good evidence. If the video was deleted you could probably pull it off the drive using forensic software.

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