Hours After Mike Pompeo Says Russia Carried Out Cyberattack, Donald Trump Contradicts Him And Blames China

On Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Russia was likely behind a massive cyberattack that struck a number of federal agencies.

Just hours later, President Donald Trump contradicted his own administration and said that China may be to blame for the attack. He seemed to imply that the media may have been purposely lying about the origin of the cyberattack, even though top experts agreed with the assessment blaming Russia.

“Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of……..discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!)” Trump wrote on Twitter, via CNBC.

As CNBC reported, the contradiction added confusion to what is a complex situation, with cybersecurity experts investigating a complicated attack that reportedly started in March and remains ongoing. A number of top officials have reportedly pointed to Russia as the perpetrator, a theory which appeared to be corroborated by Pompeo on Saturday.

The report added that Trump may be stopping others in the administration from publicly blaming Russia, citing U.S. officials who told NBC News that the White House was planning to put out a statement on Friday blaming Russia before being told the stand down.

The intrusion was announced this week by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which noted that it had been playing out for months and causing what was believed to be irreversible damage. Hackers reportedly seized on a vulnerability to install malware that struck a number of private companies and government agencies, including the Pentagon, the U.S. Postal Service, and the National Institutes of Health.

Trump has already come under fire for failing to issue a statement several days after the attacks were first reported. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney took to Twitter to criticize what he called an “inexcusable silence and inaction from the White House,” saying that the cyberattack exposed a weakness in American cybersecurity. Romney likened the attack to an act of war, saying it would be the same as Russian bombers flying over the United States undetected.

Others have criticized Trump for what they see as too-close ties with Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin, failing to push back on the country’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and even publicly siding with Putin when he claimed that the country did not interfere. Trump also shifted blame to China for the election interference, saying that the country could have been responsible despite consensus from American intelligence agencies that it was the doing of Russia at the behest of Putin.

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