WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump was asked at the end of a Cabinet meeting if Russia was still targeting the United States. The president said, “no,” contradicting recent warnings from his top intelligence chief.
Trump’s comment came after National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said last Friday that warning lights about overall cyber threats to the U.S. are “blinking red” — much like “blinking red” signals warned before the 9/11 attacks.
Trump did not elaborate on the threat posed by Russia, telling reporters that no American president has been as “tough” on Russia as he has been.
Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, but cyber threats also are coming from China, Iran and North Korea, as well as criminal networks and individual hackers, Coats said last week.
U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers, accusing them of hacking into the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic Party.
Russia has denied state involvement.