Nothing short of 'armed conflict' will stop Russian attacks on US elections -- 'it is the new normal': DNC hack investigator
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo: Screen capture)

Robert Johnston, the former Marine captain and cybersecurity expert who investigated the Russian hack into the Democratic National Committee's emails, told MSNBC on Monday that nothing short of "armed conflict" would stop future attacks -- and given that that's an option the US would like to avoid, American voters need to get used to a "new normal" moving forward.

"I think America is in a very tough spot. We've tried everything," Johnston said, ticking off U.S. responses to Russian aggression. "I think at the end of the day, you are looking at what will be the new normal -- a consistent and persistent attack against U.S. democracy, because it is directly at odds with the Russian Federation's influences in Europe and Nato. This is the new normal. Every election will be like this moving forward and into the future."

"You make me want to go to the desk and cry," replied host Ali Velshi. "In 2019, we've exhausted our ability to figure out a deterrent model to somehow indicate to Russia and North Korea and China and any one else like the 400 pound guy who Donald Trump says it is to not meddle in our elections?"

"I mean other than rising to the level of armed conflict, that's the level that you want to stay away from," Johnston said. "It reminds me of what the U.S. went through against the Russia Federation during the Cold War."

Watch the video below.