December 20, 2020 – This morning House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) spoke with MSNBC about the Russian hack and the consequences for our national security and our economy, and what we need to do to harden our defenses.
“Based on what I’ve seen, I don’t think there’s any question but that it was Russia. And for the President to, once again, be so deceitful to essentially through Twitter give a statement that Putin could not have said better himself, casting doubt on attribution. It just undermines our deterrent, to the degree with have any deterrent to what the Russians do, and of course, it’s an eerie echo of the President’s other deceit when he also suggested when the Russians hacked the elections in 2016 that that might have been China. When China does engage in bad acts, and they do, it means that no one will take the President seriously if he correctly calls out China. So, it’s just uniformly destructive and deceitful and further injurious to our national security.”
“It’s extraordinary because so many of our agencies were penetrated, so many private sector companies all over the world. It will take weeks, months, it may even take years to understand the full scope of this. It’s also going to take a long time to get the Russians out of these systems and the economic losses for the private secretary are going to be enormous. So, it’s very far-reaching. We don’t yet know the full extent of the potential damage. We don’t yet know whether this extends beyond unclassified systems. But it’s really quite breathtaking in scope and it also means we’re going to have to considerably up our cyber-defense game if we’re going to prevent further attacks on the supply chain like this one.”
“I do think we need to look at the totality of the Russian cyber actions. They hacked our democratic party and institutions. They’ve hacked think tanks. They staring releasing released stolen emails during the last presidential campaign, the 2016 campaign. They used their cyber means to set up false flag operations on social media to divide Americans. And now this massive hack, this intelligence gathering, this economic damage, this preparing of the battlefield. You look at it in the totality what the Russians are doing, clearly they weren’t deterred in any way by this president. Their actions are only broadening and we’re going to both have to respond and deter, but we’re going to also have to think about how do we protect our supply chain and that is a very hard problem to solve.”
[Biden] “doesn’t have to do much to one-up president trump on this. If he did anything, it would one-up President trump. But yes, he will establish a deterrent. The reason why the Russians didn’t involve themselves more in the 2020 election, they were involved but to a certain point, they realized that Joe Biden might very well win and there would be a heavy price to pay. If they were sure Donald Trump would win, it would have been a very different story. Biden will work hard to re-establish deterrence. He’s going to have to make a major investment, along with congress in our cyber defenses, and I think we can expect all of that to take place as soon as he leaves the starting gate.”