US intel head calls for end to ‘hyperventilation’ over Russia’s alleged role in DNC hack
The Director of National Intelligence says Washington is still unsure of who might be behind the latest WikiLeaks release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails, while urging that an end be put to the “reactionary mode” blaming it all on Russia.
“We don’t know enough to ascribe motivation regardless of who it might have been,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said speaking at Aspen’s Security Forum in Colorado, when asked if the media was getting ahead of themselves in fingering the perpetrator of the hack.
Some 30,000 Democratic National Committee emails were released by WikiLeaks last Friday, exposing the Democratic National Committee’s bias in favor of Hillary Clinton.
After the release, Clinton’s campaign accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 election campaign. Despite lacking any proof to substantiate their claims, a number of US media outlets picked up the ball and repeated the accusations, claiming Russians had hacked into the DNC’s computer servers and leaked emails to WikiLeaks in order to help the Donald Trump campaign.
Speaking on Thursday, Clapper said that Americans need to stop blaming Russia for the hack, telling the crowd that the US has been running in “reactionary mode” when it comes to the numerous cyber-attacks the nation is continuously facing.
“I’m somewhat taken aback by the hyperventilation on this,” Clapper said.
“I’m shocked someone did some hacking,” he added sarcastically, “[as if] that’s never happened before.”
Clapper said that the US is facing a “different era,” when Americans needs to become “more resilient” to the modern challenges of extremism.
“I think we’re going to be in a state of suppression of extremism in whatever manifestation or form it takes, whether it’s al Qaeda or ISIS or some other group that’s spawned,” Clapper said. “This is going to be a long-haul proposition, and I think the same is true in the whole realm of cybersecurity.”
Clapper added that there is a growing awareness that all levels of cyber terrorism are a “profound challenge” for the US.
“I think we just need to accept that, and not be quite so excitable at yet another instance of it," he said about the recent media speculations.
Moscow dismissed the allegations of Russia’s involvement. “It is so absurd it borders on total stupidity,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.