President Donald Trump may be blaming former President Barack Obama for not acting against the Russian hack — but he himself hasn’t acted, either. According to a CNN report, his own advisors are trying to help him understand why the country poses a threat and there is reason for concern but it has been to no avail.
Senior officials revealed that there are few signs that Trump is spending any time on Russia or cyber threats.
“I’ve seen no evidence of it,” the senior administration official said. There are no paper trails, schedules, readouts or briefing documents that indicate Trump has given it more thought than it takes to compose a tweet.
Intelligence officials have called Russia a “major threat” to the US election system in public hearings as well as classified briefings, CNN reported. They also warn that without a large-scale response, Russia is likely to try it again in the next election.
Some are concerned the White House doesn’t consider it a serious threat. According to one congressional source, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers told lawmakers about the lack of interest at the White House about the Russian cyber-threat to voting systems. He also advised that there is reason for concern that China, North Korea and Iran are also attempting to hack the United States.
While the intelligence community continues to brief Trump on Russia’s hack as new information becomes available, according to one source, the president seems uninterested. He has also has reportedly “vented his frustrations” outside the briefing about the amount of attention the intelligence community is spending on Russia’s election interference. Press Secretary Sean Spicer maintains that the president is taking the cyberattacks seriously.
“The United States continues to combat on a regular basis malicious cyber activity, and will continue to do so without bragging to the media or defending itself against unfair media criticism,” Spicer said in a statement. His evidence is that the sanctions put in place by Obama have remained.
“We haven’t done anything,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said. “We passed a bill through the Senate, and it’s hung up in the House. Tell me what we’ve done?”
McCain isn’t alone — many in Trump’s own party are concerned with his disinterest about international threats. He wants to see Trump take up the bill passed in the Senate that would take additional actions.
Republican officials are being forced to work around the White House instead. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CNN he is working with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on a kind of 9/11-style commission to explore what happened and how better to protect the U.S. in the future.