Biden vows US will retaliate against Russia for hacks

Biden vows US will retaliate against Russia for hacks

Vice President Biden is vowing the U.S. will retaliate against Russia for its alleged hacking of American political groups. 

“We're sending a message,” Biden said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that will air Sunday. 

Biden did not detail the type of response the U.S. is preparing but said Russian President Vladimir Putin will “know it” when it happens.

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“It will be at the time of our choosing,” he added. “And under the circumstances that have the greatest impact.”

The vice president is the highest-ranking member of the Obama administration who has pledged a response to Russia for its alleged hacking. 

His comments come a week after the administration took the unprecedented step of publicly blaming Moscow for hacking the computer systems of political organizations with the goal of influencing the outcome of the November elections.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the hacks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and campaign officials were authorized by senior Kremlin officials. 

Biden echoed White House spokesman Josh Earnest, who said this week the public likely would not know in advance before the U.S. takes action against Russia. 

“Hope not,” the vice president said when asked if the public will know when the response occurs. 

The vice president also sought to tamp down concerns that the result of the election could be thrown into doubt due to the hacks. 

“I am not concerned,” he said. “The capacity to do — to fundamentally alter the election is not what people think.”

In addition to the cyberattacks on Democratic political groups, multiple states have reported attempted intrusions into their electronic voting systems. The government has not assigned blame for those hacks.