Senate

Romney: ‘Stunning’ for White House not to respond on Russian cyberattack

Greg Nash

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Thursday said it was “stunning” for the White House to not issue a response regarding multiple alleged U.S. government cyber attacks stemming from Russia.

The senator from Utah tweeted an abbreviated version of the statement he told SiriusXM’s Chief Washington Correspondent Olivier Knox in a prerecorded interview, noting the recent reports of Russian hacks into government agencies showed “alarming U.S. vulnerability” and “apparent cyber warfare weakness.”

“I think the White House needs to say something aggressive about what happened. This is almost as if you had a Russian bomber flying undetected over the country, including over the nation’s capital, and not to respond in a setting like that is really stunning,” Romney told Knox.

On Sunday, reports emerged showing that the U.S. Treasury Department and a Commerce Department agency had been breached by a Russian military intelligence unit known as “Cozy Bear,” which is responsible for past hacks into government agencies.

The Republican senator’s comments come one day after Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) voiced similar thoughts about the recent alleged Russian hacks, calling it “virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States and we should take that seriously.”

President Trump has not addressed the latest hacks reported by Reuters on Sunday, and White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday the administration is “taking a hard look into this,” CNBC reported.

The Hill reached out to the White House but did not immediately receive a response.

President-elect Joe Biden has been outspoken regarding the latest suspected Russian hacking, saying his incoming national security team has been briefed by officials privy to the matter.

“My administration will make cybersecurity a top priority at every level of government — and we will make dealing with this breach a top priority from the moment we take office,” said Biden, later adding, “Our adversaries should know that, as president, I will not stand idly by in the face of cyber assaults on our nation.”

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) told congressional staffers this week the perpetrator behind the alleged cyberattack is “highly sophisticated.”

CISA officials further said that “it will take weeks, if not months, to determine the total number of agencies affected by the attack and the extent to which sensitive data and information may have been compromised.”

Tags Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Cyberwarfare Dick Durbin Donald Trump Joe Biden Mitt Romney National security Presidential transition of Joe Biden Russia United States Utah

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