Citing unofficial sources, The New York Times report claimed that the USA has placed a malware inside the Russian systems operating the nation's power grid so as to conduct cyber attacks if a conflict arises between the two countries in the future.
He made the statement to the media in response to claims by The New York Times that U.S. secret services over the past year were increasingly active in their attempts to cripple computer malware inside Russia's power grid.
But someone must be blamed for the manufactured crisis Trump has devoted his presidency to, and this week it is apparently congressional Democrats' turn. "Only then will it be clear whether it would be possible to plunge Russian Federation into darkness or cripple its military-a question that may not be answerable until the code is activated".
As noted earlier, at least one analyst has publicly doubted the NYT's reporting that the United States operations included the placing of implants inside the Russian power grid.
Some analysts have cast aspersions on the reporting, and Trump himself has previously dismissed allegations that these kinds of increased cyber retaliations had taken place. No top USA security official disputed the validity of the report, and both National Security Advisor John Bolton and National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone indirectly confirmed it. Her "fair warning" became national news.
The media reaction to this seemingly blockbuster revelation was also instructive. He goes beyond calling the New York Times, the "Enemy of the People" as he has done in the past.
The New York Times' response also noted that the paper described the article to government officials before publication.
And while his administration has taken steps to hold Russia accountable for its aggression, Trump himself has flummoxed national security officials by refusing to criticise Russian President Vladimir Putin, publicly siding with Putin over the United States intelligence community, and repeatedly undermining efforts to investigate Russia's interference in the USA electoral process.
If Trump were to do that, it wouldn't be the first time.
In fact, the story counters the fevered claims of the "collusion crowd", who still insist the president is a Putin puppet, since it notes that Trump gave US Cyber Command the go-ahead to fight back last summer. "But we're now opening the aperture, broadening the areas we're prepared to act in". "And I think we're gonna need to see more and more of that, but now that we've got some momentum, we're looking forward to growing that partnership".
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