Russian President Vladimir Putin Authorized Election Cyberattacks; US To Respond With Action
The White House has revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally gave his authorization on the spate of high profile attacks launched against the United States government this year. The action by the Russian government was key to the victory of Donald Trump during the elections. The Obama administration bared that Trump was aware of what Russia was doing. As a result, outgoing US President Barack Obama said that the US must and will take action against Russia.
President Obama earlier indicated that the US will take action for its alleged cyber attack on Democratic officials. He bared this plan in an interview on National Public Radio last Friday following complaints from Republican lawmakers that Federal authorities refuse to brief them on the current investigation of Russia's role in leaking tens of thousands of damaging emails from top campaign officials of Hillary Clinton.
Earlier this week, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) bared that Russia favoured Trump over Clinton in the run-up to the election. In their report, the CIA discovered that Russian-backed hackers compromised both the Republican National Committee and several Democratic organizations and then passed the latter's documents to WikiLeaks which hurt the Clinton campaign in the process. In a press conference, White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said that such activities could have been authorized by Russia's most senior officials.
On the other hand, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes directly named Putin as the person who authorized the hackings. "I don't think things of this consequence don't happen in Russia without the knowledge of Vladimir Putin. When you are talking about a significant cyber intrusion such as this, we're talking about the highest levels of government." said Rhodes.
Earnest believes that it was too "obvious" that Trump had knowledge of what Putin was doing. The Republicans called the CIA report as "ridiculous." Trump's senior transition adviser called it "breathtaking" and "irresponsible."