Obama Orders Investigation Into Russian Election Hacking
This officially just got serious
Is this all for show? A month after the election President Obama has ordered a “full review” into whether Russia played any part in attempted cyber attacks on leading up the 2016 election.
"We may have crossed into a new threshold and it is incumbent upon us to take stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to understand what this means, what has happened and to impart those lessons learned," Lisa Monaco, President Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, said in a meeting with reporters published by Politico.
So why now?
One administration source told NBC News that because of Trump’s cozy relationship with Vladimir Putin, “Obama is concerned that Russia will go unpunished for the behavior unless he acts.”
According to NBC, all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia was behind attempted disruptions of this year’s election, something President-elect Trump has denied. His skepticism aside, Republicans in Congress, including Sen. John McCain, have said they support the investigation, which will look into alleged incidents all the way back to 2008, according to CNN.
It’s a dramatic turn in just over a month. In the aftermath of the shocking 2016 presidential election results, the White House was quick to declare that there was no evidence of hacking of voter fraud. Sure, no one in the Obama Administration was happy to see Donald Trump heading to the Oval Office instead of Hillary Clinton but privately they insisted that the best thing for stability and democracy was to ensure a peaceful transition of power and focus on the next election.
Unfortunately, for those worried about the integrity of our electoral process and even our democracy itself, it doesn’t sound like full results of the investigation will be made public. Monaco said that’s because doing so would potentially tip off any hackers to the methods used to detect hacks. However, she did say the findings will be shared with Congress and other parts of the national security apparatus.
“That’s going to be first and foremost a determination that’s made by the intelligence community," Monaco said. "We want to do so very attentive to not disclosing sources and methods that may impede our ability to identify and attribute malicious actors in the future.”
For its part, Russia has repeatedly denying hacking into places like the Democratic National Committee or attempting to interfere in any way with the election.
“We are also very interested in understanding what they accused Russia of,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told CNN. “Many times the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Minister Lavrov have asked Americans to provide full information. But never had any response.”