Romney: Trump has a “blind spot” when it comes to Russia

“The president has a blind spot when it comes to Russia, so you can expect this to be the response he’s going to get,” Romney told a CNN reporter on “State of the Union” when asked about a tweet from Trump undermining his secretary. To assess the state for massive penetration.

“This is a big wake-up call for us and I think we will have to really rethink our army and national security readiness, so when it comes to cyberspace, because this is the war of the future and I hope we ourselves get even the capacity that we expect the strongest and greatest country to have. Earth, “added the Republican from Utah.

At least six federal agencies are now known to have been targeted in the abuse, including the cyber arm of the Department of Homeland Security and the Ministries of Agriculture, Trade, Energy and State. Investigators are still trying to identify government data, if any, that may have been accessed or stolen in the hack.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said on Friday That the attack was a “very important effort” and linked it directly to Russia. But the next day, Trump, In his first public comments on the issue, She seemed to undermine these statements in a pair of tweets, suggesting without evidence “China may be” to blame. The president also claimed that “everything is under control,” although administration officials said last week that the attack “posed a grave threat” to networks in both the public and private sectors.

Likewise, Romney said the cyber attack puts the United States in a vulnerable position, and suggested that the country respond forcefully.

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“What Russia has done is to develop a capacity to potentially paralyze our movement with regard to electricity, water, and our communications,” Lauter said. “This is the same kind of thing that one can do in a time of war and so it is very dangerous and it is a gruesome insult to our sovereignty and one that has to be met with a very strong response, not just a speech, as important as that is, but also with an electronic response of a similar or greater size. .

The agencies are not “defense-optimized”

Chris Krebs, former director of the Agency for Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security, told Tapper later in the program that federal agencies are not currently “defense-optimized” and part of the reason his previous agency did not discover the breach sooner was to bill it with certain powers to aggressively eliminate opponents who had not Trump signs them yet.

“There is a clause in the National Defense Authorization Act … this is on the president’s office waiting for his signature … that would give CISA, my old agency, the powers to go out and aggressively search for these enemies and that’s what we need to do to make sure the other side of this.” , “Said the former head of cyberspace.

Trump, from Krebs launched last month After dismissing the president’s baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, he has remained preoccupied with his electoral loss to Joe Biden in recent weeks, after publicly commenting on the cyber breach just days after reporting it.
The president held a controversial meeting in the Oval Office on Friday In it, his attorney Sydney Powell and her client, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, are involved in a heated back and forth wrangling with some of Trump’s aides over Powell and Flynn’s more infuriating suggestions about turning the election around.

Flynn suggested last week that Trump might resort to martial law as part of his efforts to cancel the election, and during the meeting, White House aides rejected the idea of ​​naming Powell as a special advisor to investigate allegations of voter fraud with the Trump administration itself. Kick.

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Romney, a longstanding critic of Trump, has criticized Trump’s ongoing efforts to nullify the election results.

Romney said during his interview with CNN: “It’s really sad in many respects and embarrassing because the president can, at the moment, write the last chapter of this administration narrowly in terms of the vaccine,” referring to New Coronavirus vaccines.

This story was updated with additional details on Sunday.

Veronica Stracowallorsi, Kevin Liptak, Jennifer Hansler and Nikki Robertson contributed to this report.

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