President Obama on Tuesday seemed to caution against overreacting to the alleged hacking of Democratic emails by Russian actors, saying it’s on a "long list" of issues with Russia. 
 
"If in fact Russia engaged in this activity, it's just one on a long list of issues that me and Mr. Putin talk about and that I've got a real problem with," Obama in response to a question posed by The Hill at a press conference in Washington, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Despite differences on many issues, Obama said U.S. and Russian officials try to "stay focused on those areas where we have a common interest," pointing to the fight in Syria against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
 
"That's pretty standard state craft at this point with Russia," he said.
 
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said last week that the U.S. was not ready to blame Russia for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
 
"There are a lot of countries out there that are trying to hack into our stuff," Obama told reporters Tuesday, noting it happened with both government databases and private sector databases. 
 
"We have provisions in place where if we see evidence of a malicious attack by a state actor, we can impose, potentially, certain proportional penalties," Obama said.
 
However, he noted it requires the U.S. to "pin down" the actors behind the breaches — an indication that the U.S. either has not in this case or is unready to disclose it publicly.
 
Democrats blamed Russian actors for a breach of the DNC’s emails earlier this year. Damaging messages were released days before the Democratic National Convention that caused uproar among Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Krystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' Saagar Enjeti praises Yang for bringing threat of automation to forefront at Ohio debate MORE supporters.
 
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also said that it was hacked in a breach similar to the one that hit the DNC.