Pompeo Said In An Interview With Radio Host Mark Levin, Becoming The First Administration Official To Directly Pin The Attack On Russia
President Donald Trump on Saturday publicly broke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over Russia’s involvement in a massive cyberattack on the U.S. government. Trump, in his first public comment since reports of the wide-scale breach surfaced last week, downplayed the attack in a series of tweets, suggesting without evidence that China may have been responsible and hacks on U.S. voting systems might have occurred as well.
“The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality. I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control,” Trump wrote. “Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!).” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Russia on Friday for the monthslong cyberattack on agencies across the U.S. government that security experts have characterized as one of the most significant hacks leveled against the country.
“This was a very significant effort, and I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity,” Pompeo said in an interview with radio host Mark Levin, becoming the first administration official to directly pin the attack on Russia. “I can’t say much more as we’re still unpacking precisely what it is, and I’m sure some of it will remain classified. But suffice it to say there was a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside of U.S. Government systems and it now appears systems of private companies and companies and governments across the world as well,” Pompeo added.
The massive and sophisticated cyber operation infiltrated the departments of Treasury, Homeland Security, State and Agriculture; the National Institutes of Health, and the Commerce Department’s telecommunications policy agency. The Department of Energy has found evidence that hackers breached networks at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, two national laboratories, a DOE field office and a division of the National Nuclear Security Administration. U.S. officials believe hackers linked to a Russian intelligence agency infected software updates for an IT monitoring program made by a company called SolarWinds.
Pompeo defended Trump for not speaking out sooner on the attack.
“I saw this in my time running the world’s premier espionage service at the CIA. There are many things that you’d very much love to say, “Boy, I’m going to call that out,” but a wiser course of action to protect the American people is to calmly go about your business and defend freedom.” Lawmakers have stepped up their demands for answers and President-elect Joe Biden has used the crisis to draw a contrast between himself and Trump.
This news was originally published at Yahoo