Trump must put blame on Russia for cyberattack, says Biden

WION Web Team
Wilmington, Delaware Published: Dec 23, 2020, 08:56 AM(IST)

Joe Biden Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Biden faulted Trump for stripping U.S. defenses against cyberattacks, saying: "This assault happened on Donald Trump's watch, when he wasn't watching."

US President-elect Joe Biden said that he had not seen any evidence that cyberattack against the US was under control. He lashed out at US President Donald Trump for being reluctant to name Russia. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr have both accused Moscow.

“It is a grave risk and it continues," Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware. "I see no evidence that it’s under control. I see none. Heard of none. Department won’t even brief us on many things. So I know of nothing that suggests it’s under control."

Biden faulted Trump for stripping U.S. defenses against cyberattacks, saying: "This assault happened on Donald Trump's watch, when he wasn't watching."

Trump has floated the idea on Twitter that China might be responsible for the hacking spree. Uncovered last week, it breached at least half a dozen U.S. government agencies and left thousands of American companies exposed.

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Joe Biden has warned that the cyberattack will not go unanswered once he takes office on January 20. He said his administration will take meaningful steps to respond to the cyber breach.

The incoming White House chief of staff said on Sunday that Biden's response to the hacking campaign would go beyond sanctions. Ron Klain said Biden was mapping out ways to degrade the capacity of foreign actors to engage in cyber attacks against the United States.

Options being mulled by the Biden administration to punish Moscow for its alleged role include financial penalties and retaliatory hacks on Russian infrastructure, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

The Kremlin denies any role in the hacking.

"The question of the damage done remains to be determined. We have to look at, very closely, the nature of the breaches, how extensive they are, and what damage has been done," Biden said.

(With Reuters inputs)

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