Yesterday, Admiral Mike Rogers, head of the NSA and US Cyber Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Trump hasn’t asked his agency to counter Russian’s interference in the US elections in 2016 and warned that this gives them the all-clear to continue. Via NPR:
The admiral in charge of both the nation’s top electronic spying agency and the Pentagon’s cybersecurity operations would seem a logical point man for countering Russia’s digital intrusions in U.S. election campaigns.
But National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command chief Adm. Michael Rogers told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday there is only so much he can do. That is because, according to Rogers, President Trump has not ordered him to go after the Russian attacks at their origin.
Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the committee’s ranking Democrat, asked Rogers, “Have you been directed to do so, given this strategic threat that faces the United States and the significant consequences you recognize already?”
“No, I have not,” Rogers replied.
But the spy chief pushed back on suggestions that he should seek a presidential signoff.
“I am not going to tell the president what he should or should not do,” Rogers said when Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal pressed him on whether Trump should approve that authority.
“I’m an operational commander, not a policymaker,” he added. “That’s the challenge for me as a military commander.”
Rogers agreed with Blumenthal’s estimation that Russian cyber operatives continue to attack the U.S. with impunity and that Washington’s response has fallen short.
“It hasn’t changed the calculus, is my sense,” the spy chief told Blumenthal. “It certainly hasn’t generated the change in behavior that I think we all know we need.”
The only intelligence agency head to be held over from the Obama administration told Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin has reached a conclusion: There is little price to pay for his actions and they can therefore continue.
That’s a pretty stark warning. If he’s aware of Rogers’ testimony, Twitler has probably ordered minions to fire Rogers and install a Trump guy. Well, Hillary Clinton called his ass out just a short while ago:
I say this as a former Secretary of State and as an American: the Russians are still coming. Our intelligence professionals are imploring Trump to act. Will he continue to ignore & surrender, or protect our country?https://t.co/Z6uaSCgdF6
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 28, 2018
Maybe Clinton’s comment will bring attention to Trump’s inexcusable dereliction of duty and give the issue the wall-to-wall coverage it deserves. Especially if Trump rage-tweets in response.