According to a former national security official, President Donald Trump could easily stop Russian bots that continue to thrive on social media — but he won’t do it.
“For any of the president’s I worked for, if there were a major threat to the United States, to our democracy, the president would have asked for and personally got involved in crafting a comprehensive program,” said Clarke, who served under four presidents.”This president hasn’t done that.”
On some issues, he explained, the government can work on auto-pilot, but for the NSA and cyber command it’s different.
“For some things the president has to give an order,” Clarke said. “For NSA and cyber command and CIA to do some things covertly in cyberspace, to stop the kind of attacks that are still ongoing with the Russian bots and Russian trolls trying to make arguments against itself, trying to create discord in the United States. For that kind of program, the president has to give an order. He hasn’t done it.”
Noting Trump refused to enact the sanctions Congress passed, Clarke concluded that the reason Trump hasn’t done it is that he’s continuing to benefit.
“The very same bots that helped get him elected are still out there,” Clarke noted. “The organization that did it is still out there. They are still supporting his causes. They are still making dissent likely in the United States, pretending to be black lives matter groups. Pretending to be pro-gun groups. They’re whipping up dissent. They’re whipping up discord. On every issue in cyberspace, they are still backing him.”
He noted that the reason they’re still allowed to do it is that Trump hasn’t given the order to stop them.
“Why hasn’t NSA or cyber command attacked their computers which they could do with existing technology?” he asked. “They could do it easily. They could fry all of those computers. They could take down the so-called Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, but they haven’t because they need an order to do so, and that order has not been forthcoming.”
Cuomo cited Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent presentation that showed a Russian missile hitting Florida and that it looked like it was remarkably close to where Mar-a-Lago is. He wondered why Trump would refuse to hit back against someone taunting him with bombing his own home when he’s been so quick to attack people for far less. Cuomo couldn’t understand why.
“Well, I think you can guess,” Clarke mused. “The president never criticized Putin. He admires Putin. You are not going to hear him criticize Putin no matter what he does. Imagine any other president — imagine Ronald Reagan or imagine George Herbert Walker Bush, if the leader of Russia giving an anti-American speech with pictures of missiles attacking the United States. Can you imagine them being silent under those circumstances? But this president is silent.”
Watch the full interview below: