Donald Trump objects to Mike Pompeo's allegation against Russia link in cyberattack, says 'it may be China'
Donald Trump also suggested that the cyberattack could have also targeted the voting machines during the presidential polls, in short, proving that he won the election
President Donald Trump, on December 19, chose to contradict Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement regarding a massive cyberattack on US federal government agencies. Pompeo had linked the hack to Russia while POTUS said: “It may be China”. According to CNN, this resulted in the administration officials scrambling to settle the opposing statements.
During his appearance on ‘The Mark Levin Show’, on Friday, December 18, Pompeo alleged, “This was a very significant effort, and I think it's the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity.” He added: "I can't say much more as we're still unpacking precisely what it is, and I'm sure some of it will remain classified."
However, Trump, in two subsequent tweets, expressed a different opinion. He said, “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. Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of....” Trump also tweeted, “....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. @DNI_Ratcliffe @SecPompeo.”
....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. @DNI_Ratcliffe @SecPompeo— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2020
As per CNN, White House officials had drafted a statement allegedly assigning blame to Russia for the attack and were preparing to release it Friday, December 18, afternoon but were asked to hold it, according to people familiar with the plans. Officials initially weren't told why the statement was pulled back. The sources said the statement allegedly put the blame on Russia for arranging the attack but left open the possibility that other actors were involved.
“Suffice it to say, there was a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside of US government systems and it now appears systems of private companies and companies and governments across the world as well," Pompeo had said of the hack.
MEAWW had reported, on Monday, December 14, CNN reported that US officials were suspecting Russian-linked hackers behind the data breach of several federal agencies, including the homeland security, agriculture and commerce departments and launched investigations. It was also learned that the homeland security department’s cyber arm, which has the responsibility of safeguarding the nation from malicious foreign powers, is among at least three government agencies that were compromised in the hack.
Trump did not comment on the hack for most of the week. The White House said on Friday. December 18, the president was being briefed and "working very hard" in dealing with it. When questioned about Trump's silence on the matter, Pompeo echoed the same, saying there was work going on behind the scenes. "There are many things that you'd very much love to say, 'Boy, I'm going to call that out,' but a wiser course of action to protect the American people is to calmly go about your business and defend freedom," he said.
Cybersecurity firm FireEye, over the years, which has been trusted by government agencies and companies around the world, on Tuesday, December 8, informed that its own systems were affected by what it called “a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities.” The company said hackers used “novel techniques” to make off with its own tool kit, which could be useful in mounting new attacks around the world.
These remarks were made by individual organizations, MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and nor does it support these claims being made on the Internet.