After the meeting, Trump said nothing about the attack, which had been undesired by his administration’s intelligence agencies for months. As those agencies have gathered to assess the damage – which the government said Thursday may be more widespread than initially thought, “a serious threat to the federal government” – the president himself remained silent on the matter, Their rather invented claims of pre-existing widespread voter fraud with their electoral losses.
Large-scale data breeches, revealed in the final weeks of Trump’s administration, amounted to a dramatic whip for a presidential race that is clouded by questions of indifference to Russia and warming relations with its President Vladimir Putin Has failed attempts. As he ignores the latest upsurge in coronovirus cases, Trump accepts all responsibilities in his final week in office.
The White House has not listed an intelligence briefing in the president’s daily schedule since early October, although officials say they are regularly given intelligence, even when a formal briefing appears on their calendar And a senior White House official told CNN that Trump was informed of the hack by his top intelligence officials on Thursday.
President-elect Joe Biden’s staff members were also briefed by officials about the massive intrusion, an official from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyberspace and Infrastructure Security Agency said. Biden himself is also described in his daily classified briefing, which is listed on his public schedule each day this week.
Extensive and extraordinary incursions by suspected Russian hackers of US government systems have led to a technical soul-searching mission between the government’s key cyber officials and outside experts on how it managed to last a months-long, cyber campaign .
It was not until Wednesday night that the US government formally acknowledged that the ongoing cyber operations were still active. The revelation comes at a particularly frightening time during the divisive presidential transition and after an election that was, by all accounts, free of foreign interference.
It is unclear if, at all times, Trump has been briefed on the latest hack. Nor is it clear how busy Trump is to respond. He has left all public reactions to members of his cabinet and administration. And despite a healthy pace of tweets about election results and his false claims of voter fraud, he has not released any message about the hack.
Sen. Mitt Romney of the Utah Republic, who has been a critic of Trump, said that while it was “surprising” on Thursday, Trump has not yet responded.
“I think the White House needs to say something offensive about what happened,” Romney said. “It’s almost as if you had a Russian bomber flying indefinitely across the country.”
Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien cut a trip to Europe earlier this week to return to Washington for immediate meetings on the hack, and the White House called daily discussions with national security agencies concerning the intrusion, according to people familiar With talk.
Intelligence committees of the House and Senate were briefed on the issue on Wednesday, but lawmakers have clarified that there are still more questions than answers.
“() The dirty fact that most entities are unaware they have been hacked,” CNN reported Thursday, is representative Mike Quiggle, a Democrat from Illinois who serves on the House Intelligence Committee.
Senate Republicans on Thursday said they did not see an issue in Trump’s silence while his administration works to get to the bottom of the matter.
Senate Intelligence Chairman Marco Rubio said, “There is still information gathering, so I would caution anyone to reach a conclusion or pronounce it.” “I think there is still a lot that needs to be known. I would caution anyone to speak too much about something when there are still a lot of facts to be gathered.
‘A big deal’
Sen. Josh Hawley, who sits on the Senate Armed Services, says he has not been informed of the hack. Regarding the administration, he said, “I am fine with what I have said in public.” “It’s a very big thing. And we definitely need to learn more … I’m really worried about it.”
Asked if Trump should address it publicly, Hawley said: “I think the most important thing is to get the report and tell us what the extent of the breach is. They are trying to figure out Must have been. “
While Trump has said nothing about the attack, his former Homeland Security adviser Tom Bosart urged the president to formally take responsibility in an op-ed and, if Russia confirms its back, “Vladimir Putin Make it clear that these actions are unacceptable. “
Trump is also threatening to veto the National Defense Authorization Act on a provision requiring renaming of designated military bases for Confederate leaders and because he wants to add a provision to improve liability laws for social media companies such as Twitter . The Defense Policy Bill contains provisions that will help the US government deal with cyber threats.
“We have a provision in the bill that it faces cyber threats in case of hacking,” Senate Armed Services Chairman Jim Inhofe said of Trump and the NDAA. But Inhofe, who has been reported on the hack, said he would not criticize Trump for failing to speak out.
Democrat Sen. Sen. Tim Kaine has also not been briefed on the panel yet, but said he is trying to establish himself for Friday.
“I think he should, but frankly I don’t think he will,” Cane said if Trump should address it by force. “I don’t think we’ll probably get a straightforward answer to the depth of this and what we need to counter it until the new administration is in place.”
As the data breech controls are still in sight, the incident underscores how little Trump’s court efforts have been to improve relations with Moscow over the past four years. Even as he frustrated his own advisers by delaying punitive measures and attempting to befriend his Russian counterpart, Trump followed his tenure with the most Brezan efforts to infiltrate Russia’s American system Faced up.
This is a lot of how Trump made his presidential debut when US intelligence agencies assessed Russia as acting on Trump’s behalf to influence the 2016 presidential election. The president’s unwillingness to issue a warning to confront Russia on that front, or to not interfere with Putin again, has fueled the perception among his critics that he is soft on Putin.
A tweet released in 2017, Trump, after his first meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G7 meeting in Hamburg, has now come to exempt Natine, including many in Congress and even inside the administration Trump has also approached Russia.
“Putin and I discussed the formation of an impenetrable cybersecurity unit to protect election hacking, and many other negative things,” he wrote then, an idea that was mocked at the time and never came up.
While Putin was one of the last world leaders to recognize Biden as the winner of the US election, he finally acknowledged the presidential-election victory this week, saying in a message that he was “ready to communicate and interact with you . “
“We need an honest reset in terms of the relationship between the United States and Russia,” Sen. Richard Durbin of D-Illinois said Wednesday. “We can’t be friends with Vladimir Putin and he is having such a cyber attack on America at the same time. It is really a declaration of war by Russia on the United States, and we should take it seriously.”
It was not just electoral arbitration that failed to condemn the president; He did not raise the issue of Russia rewarding American troops in Afghanistan with Putin when he spoke to them over the summer – Trump claimed that another issue was never included in his intelligence briefing, though officials said That it was a written briefing included in February.
After several US troops were wounded in Syria after the Pentagon described the Pentagon as “deliberately provocative and aggressive behavior”, Trump made no response. And in October, even after the European Union and the United Kingdom approved six top Russian officials close to Putin for poisoning Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, Trump did not.
Bolton listed a blatant list of administration actions against Russia, stating that Trump saw them as major achievements, but nearly all of them protested, or at least grumbled from Trump himself, and Complaint expanded.
As a “Russia bluff”, which Trump has disappointed his opponents, Trump has accused his opponents of trying to build a good relationship with Moscow as he investigated the relationship between his campaign and Russian election interference Was demanded to do.
Angered by this, Trump mentions Russian misdeeds that, in the past, have opposed intelligence warnings about Russia, with key members of his National Security ROM – including those giving the president’s daily briefs – from Russia. A threat to the US to summarize related less frequently, several former Trump administration officials have told CNN.
When his oral intelligence briefing included information related to Russia’s deadly activities against the United States, Trump often questioned intelligence itself.
CNN’s Alex Marquardt, Zachary Cohen, Brian Fung, Jennifer Hansler and Catelyn Collins contributed to this report.