Addressing the recent intelligence that links Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Russian hacks that influenced the U.S. election, President Obama said that the United States will “take action...at a time and place of our choosing.”
Speaking to NPR’s Steve Inskeep in an interview that is set to air on Morning Edition Friday, President Obama was explicit in his intent to respond appropriately to the cyberattacks that shone a spotlight on Hillary’s Clinton’s email and pushed the American electorate to elect Donald Trump to the presidency.
Obama was careful in his wording and avoided saying that the hacks were directly responsible for Clinton’s loss, saying that there is a “range of assessments” that need to take place first. But, he acknowledged that the hacks served very nicely to “create more problems for the Clinton campaign than it had for the Trump campaign.”
“There’s no doubt that it contributed to an atmosphere in which the only focus for weeks at a time, months at a time were Hillary’s emails, the Clinton Foundation, political gossip surrounding the DNC,” he said, without saying outright that hacks directly influenced the election. He was also clear to differentiate between the kind of intelligence gathering that many governments partake in, drawing a line between the “malicious cyberattacks that steal trade secrets or engage in industrial espionage” and “activating intelligence in a way that’s designed to influence elections.”
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that pressure on Donald Trump to acknowledge this very important news that gravely effects the country which he is poised to run has increased. Naturally, Trump has been silent, refusing to issue any official statement and choosing to hop on Twitter instead, blatantly ignoring the fact that director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr. blamed Russia for the attacks on Ocotber 7th – a month before the gates of hell opened and loosed a Trump presidency on America.
President Obama has vowed to address this issue during his last five weeks in office, but has yet to lay out a plan for how he’ll do it. Reuters reports that he will hold a press conference Friday at 2:15 p.m. before he leaves for his annual family vacation to Hawaii.