Trump’s Own NSA Pick Just Slammed WH Inaction on Russia Cyber Attacks: ‘They Don’t Fear Us’
Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone Raises Alarm As Lack Of Action On Russia Cyber Meddling Continues
While the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election continues, questions have arisen over what is being done to stop future meddling. And considering the answers we have heard from top NSA officials this week, it appears to be not nearly enough.
Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, the nominee of Republican Donald Trump to lead the agency heavily responsible for cyber security, dished out more warnings during his confirmation hearing today. And his statements echo that of the current head of the NSA: embarrassingly little is being done to deter future election meddling.
When asked whether “adversaries” such as the governments of Russia, China and North Korea were facing proper retribution for cyber intrusions, Nakasone’s assessment was rather unflattering and very alarming.
“They do not think that much will happen. They don’t fear us. That is not good,” said Nakasone, Trump’s nominee to direct the US Cyber Command and the National Security Agency.
Republican Senator Dan Sullivan termed the United States the “cyber punching-bag of the world” during the hearing. Nakasone noted the many ways the U.S. was being affected through various cyber attacks, including “the harnessing of social media platforms for false messaging”.
This criticism of the U.S. response comes just days after current NSA Director Mike Rogers told the Senate Armed Services Committee the president had not given him the order to fully answer Russia for election meddling. He stated this in an exchange with ranking Democrat Jack Reed.
REED: You would need basically to be directed by the President through the Secretary of Defense to [combat the threat] –
ROGERS: Yes, sir…
REED: Have you been directed to do so given the strategic threat that faces the United States and the significant consequences you recognize already?
ROGERS: No, I have not.
These comments on the Donald Trump administration’s lack of action against Russia comes just a month after the Oval Office announced it would not enforce sanctions on Russia that were nearly unanimously passed by Congress.
Considering the testimony of these officials, it seems clear the Trump team is not too interested in taking any steps that would anger Vladimir Putin too much. A curious action as the indictments and guilty pleas stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation continue to pile up.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images.