As Trump Cuddles With Putin, Top U.S. Intel Officer Sounds The Alarm On New Russian Attacks: ‘The Lights Are Blinking Red’
As President Donald Trump cuddles with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the U.S. top intelligence officer said on Friday that the persistent danger of Russian cyber attacks today was akin to the warnings the United States had of stepped-up terror threats ahead of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
That urgent alarm sounded by Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, came on the same day that 12 Russian agents were indicted on charges of hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, The New York Times reports.
Mr. Coats said those indictments illustrated Moscow’s continuing strategy to undermine the United States’ democracy and erode its institutions.
“The warning lights are blinking red again,” Mr. Coats said as he cautioned of cyber threats. “Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack,” he added, according to The Times.
The warning comes just days ahead of President Trump’s “private meeting” with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
As the report notes, US national security agencies, particularly the intelligence agencies, have been far more concerned about Russia’s 2016 interference campaign — and warning about efforts still underway.
The comments by Mr. Coats reflect the view by the intelligence community that Russia’s campaign remains a grave threat.
“Russia continues to be aggressive across the board,” Mr. Jones said. “Much as the Soviets did in the Cold War, the Russian active measures are much bigger than just elections.”
Mr. Coats warned about continuing Russian attempts to influence future elections, including the midterm elections in the fall.
Friday’s comments by Mr. Coats at the Hudson Institute, a Washington think tank, appeared aimed at increasing the intensity of his warnings over Russia.
Mr. Coats said Russian operatives were exploring vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure and trying to infiltrate energy, water, nuclear and manufacturing sectors.
“These actions are persistent, they are pervasive and they are meant to undermine America’s democracy,” Mr. Coats said.
But as Russians operatives continue to threaten national security, President Trump and his Republican allies continue to minimize information about the impact of Moscow’s cyber attacks and intrusion efforts on the 2016 election.