American elections are more vulnerable to future cyberattacks by Russia because both Presdient Trump and former President Barack Obama failed to properly respond to Moscow’s meddling in 2016, says a former US ambassador to NATO.
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In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and State Department official under the George W. Bush administration, said Americans “deserved to know” how Russian officials were trying to influence the most recent presidential election.
Burns’ testimony came days after a report in The Washington Post revealed Obama withheld important details about Russia’s cyber activity in the waning days of the 2016 presidential election for political reasons.
“I think if you go back and you look at it, the American people, in my judgment, deserved to know what was happening,” Burns said during an exchange with Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho).
But Burns had even tougher words for Trump, accusing the president of a “dereliction of basic duty to defend the country” by refusing to further punish Russia for its interference.
“I find it dismaying and objectionable that President Trump continues to deny the undeniable fact that Russia launched a major cyberattack against the US,” he said.