Brazilian president wishes Russian Federation success in hosting 2018 FIFA World Cup

Lucy Hill
June 24, 2017

"It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend", said a former senior Obama administration official involved in White House deliberations on Russian Federation.

US President Donald Trump has consistently called allegations of Russian hacking "fake news".

Elsewhere, the Post described how Obama's team regretted his "modest" response to the Russian Federation allegations, including confronting Putin to tell him "we knew what he was doing and [he] better stop or else", during a meeting of world leaders in Hangzhou, China.

A legal review of the cyberweapons, developed by the NSA, determined their use would be a "proportional" response (as required under global law) to a variety of scenarios involving Russian cyberattacks targeting, for instance, the next presidential election or the USA power grid.

A broader USA intelligence report released in early January went further, identifying Putin by name and concluding that one of the operation's aims was to help elect Donald Trump.

After finding out about the intelligence in August, Obama decided he did not want to "make things worse", the Post reported.

"I feel like we sort of choked", he declared.

While awaiting other agencies to confirm the intelligence, Obama was said to be have mulled over how to respond, including the expulsions of 35 diplomats and the closure of two Russian compounds.

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Johnson defended the White House's response, arguing the administration repeatedly banged the drum on election cybersecurity throughout the summer and fall but was appropriately leery of undermining trust in the integrity of the election. "In many ways that complete picture is still being filled in". Those included proposed cyberattacks on Russian infrastructure, the release of CIA-gathered material that might embarrass Putin and economic sanctions, the newspaper reported. "We weren't able to put all of those pieces together in real time".

"We made massive efforts so they couldn't do that", Blinken told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "At This Hour".

On Friday, The Washington Post published a detailed post-mortem of the administration's decision-making process that showed the former president agonizing over how to prevent politicization of the threat - and arguably failing, critics say.

"Everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard".

Former deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken noted that Obama had personally told Putin to cease the cyber campaign during a G-20 conference in October 2016. What we saw, or thought we saw, after that, it looked like the Russians stopped their efforts.

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of IL has called on bipartisan cooperation to deflect any future Russian cyber campaigns.

"If we do not, our continued weakness will be further provocation to Vladimir Putin, and no one should be surprised when he continues to attack our interests, our values, and our allies", he said. "If we weren't upset about it, we have no right to complain in the future".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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