President Trump responded to the massive cyberattack on U.S. government departments and agencies and private companies on Twitter Saturday, claiming the “Fake News Media” is exaggerating the extent of the hack.
Why it matters: Trump, who had been silent on the attack until now, claimed that China may be responsible, contradicting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other governmental officials who have said that the breach was carried out by Russia.
Context, via Axios’ Kyle Daly: Cybersecurity experts, intel officials and policymakers universally agree the hack was the work of a unit of Russian cyber operators known as Cozy Bear, believed to be backed by Vladimir Putin’s intelligence services.
- And there’s widespread concern that they’re still in U.S. government and corporate computer systems, undetected.
Our thought bubble: There’s a lot we still don’t know, but the growing list of key federal agencies struck alone is cause for serious concern. This may turn out to be the most consequential hack in U.S. history, and one that has spurred lawmakers of both parties to call for a firm response.
- Trump’s refusal to acknowledge what his own intelligence and national security experts are surely telling him will come as welcome news to the Kremlin.
What he’s saying: “The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality. I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control,” Trump said in a tweet.
- “Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!). There could also have been a hit on our ridiculous voting machines during the election, which is now obvious that I won big, making it an even more corrupted embarrassment for the USA.”
Between the lines, via Axios’ Jonathan Swan: A