Former DNC chair: Russian election hacking an ‘act of war’

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Former interim Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Donna Brazile said Tuesday that Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election was an “act of war.” 

Brazile repeatedly characterized Moscow’s election hacking campaign as “cyber warfare” during a SiriusXM event in Washington, referencing comments made by former Vice President Dick Cheney earlier this week that Moscow’s actions could be considered an act of war. 

“I’ve never agreed with Dick Cheney in my entire life, but when he said this was an act of war, I have to agree with the former vice president. It was an act of war,” Brazile said, according to a video of her remarks.

“And we better understand the ramifications because if they can take down a woman of stature like [Democratic presidential nominee] Hillary Clinton with bogus stuff and then you have to disprove the negative to make it somehow or another truthful, you cannot,” Brazile said. 

{mosads}The U.S. intelligence community concluded in January that the Russian government engaged in a cyber and disinformation campaign during the presidential campaign to undermine U.S. democracy, damage Clinton and aid then-Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Brazile was one of several high-level Democratic officials whose email communications were leaked by WikiLeaks ahead of the presidential election.

Brazile, who stepped in as acting DNC chair following Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation last July, left her role as CNN contributor after leaked emails indicated she received advance questions before a town hall forum and shared them with Clinton’s campaign. 

Brazile on Tuesday blamed the national media for “carrying on the fake narrative” by reporting on emails leaked by WikiLeaks and other websites.

“In all of my life, in the things that I’ve fought, I have never fought a Russian military intelligence unit,” Brazile told host Zerlina Maxwell during the program to air on SiriusXM Progress Wednesday evening. 

“If this is the modern warfare that we have to all participate in, we all better get ready for it,” she said. 

Brazile followed a few Democratic lawmakers who last week described Moscow’s election interference as warfare. 

During a speech at the Economic Times’ Global Business Summit 2017 in New Delhi on Monday, Cheney said that the campaign would be considered an act of war “in some quarters.” 

Experts, however, have said that Russia’s actions did not amount to warfare against the United States. The U.S. government does not currently have a definition of what actions in cyber space warrant a military response. 

FBI Director James Comey confirmed publicly last week that the bureau is investigating Russia’s election interference, including whether there was any coordination between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

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