Watch: Sen. Angus King Rips Trump For Not Confronting Russian Cyberattacks On American Democracy
During a Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME) lambasted the Trump administration’s seemingly passive response to Russian cyber attacks on American democracy.
During the hearing, King asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats why the Russian government still feels it has a free hand to launch cyberattacks aimed at undermining American elections.
“Director Coats, you have a stunning statement in your report: ‘[The Russians] will work to use cyber operations to achieve strategic objectives unless they face repercussions for their cyber operations,’” King said, reading Coats’ own intelligence assessment of Russian hacking. “Right now there are none! Is that not the case? There are no repercussions! We have no doctrine of deterrence.”
Coats replied that he agreed that Russia needed to face consequences, but defended the intelligence community over reports that it had done nothing in response to Russia’s cyberattacks on the United States.
“Though I can’t say much in this setting, I argue that your statement — that we have done nothing — does not reflect the responses that frankly some of us at this table have engaged in and United States government engaged in before and after this, both during and before this administration,” he said.
But King pressed on, pointing out that having consequences in place for actions would do no good if the Russians were not told what those consequences would be.
Coats then said that Russia had been informed of repercussions for continued hacks on American elections infrastructure, but he said the whole world didn’t need to know what they were.
Watch the exchange in the video below: