After public outcry and unprecedented bipartisan urging from Congress on Friday morning President Obama ordered an official review into election-related hacking over what involvement Russia had in influencing the presidential election in November.
White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser Lisa Monaco said:
“The President has directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review of what happened during the 2016 election process. It is to capture lessons learned from that and to report to a range of stakeholders. This is consistent with the work that we did over the summer to engage Congress on the threats that we were seeing.”
“We may be crossed into a new threshold and it is incumbent upon us to take stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to understand what this means, what has happened and to impart those lessons learned.”
This past October, U.S. intelligence committees accused Russia of deliberately interfering with the election process, by hacking into the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic party groups after emails damaging to the party and specifically Hillary Clinton appeared on Wikileaks.
Many questions have come up about the extent of the Russian hackings, and last week, seven Democratic Senators asked President Obama to declassify more of the details to show why U.S. intelligence believes that the Kremlin is involved. And Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN:
“I’m going after Russia in every way you can go after Russia, I think they’re one of the most destabilizing influences on the world stage, I think they did interfere with our elections, and I want Putin personally to pay a price.”
The Democratic House followed up that request for declassification this week with a letter to Obama asking for security briefings on Russian interference with the election.
Before Obama’s announcement Friday morning, leading Republicans had also announced that they would be launching their own investigation into Russia’s involvement in election-related hackings and what could be potential threats to our military.
While Monaco said she couldn’t comment on whether this report would be made public, according to the Washington Post, she did note “the increase in malicious cyber-activity in recent years” with Russia now ahead of China as our biggest concern.
Featured image via Getty/Sean Gallup