And they’re not being told to do it.
US Cyber Command chief Adm. Mike Rogers told lawmakers on Tuesday that he has not been granted the authority by President Donald Trump to disrupt Russian election hacking operations where they originate.
Asked by Democratic Sen. Jack Reed if he has been directed by the President, through the defense secretary, to confront Russian cyber operators at the source, Rogers said “no I have not” but noted that he has tried to work within the authority he maintains as a commander.
While he did not agree with Reed’s characterization that the US has been “sitting back and waiting,” Rogers admitted that it is fair to say that “we have not opted to engage in some of the same behaviors we are seeing” with regards to Russia.
“It has not changed the calculus or the behavior on behalf of the Russians,” Rogers said about the US response to Russia’s cyber threat to date.
“They have not paid a price that is sufficient to change their behavior,” he added.
Reed, D-Rhode Island, also asked FBI Director Christopher Wray, earlier this month whether the efforts to counter Russia’s election activities in 2018 had been directed by Trump.
“Not as specifically directed by the President,” Wray responded during a hearing at the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The reason is simple. The Russians helped Trump win the election. Why should he hold them accountable for their actions on his behalf?
PS: Just to cover their asses, the White House blames this on Obama. Of course.