US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Russian efforts to undermine US cybersecurity are “systematic” and that President Donald Trump’s administration has reoriented US security services to address this threat.
“This is something planned,” Pompeo said in a radio broadcast by political commentator Ben Shapiro.
“Russian efforts to use cyber potential against us here in the United States is something systematic, which, I think, continued while I worked in Congress for six years, and then four years in the administration,” he explained.
Pompeo’s announcement came amid reports that alleged Russian hackers had infiltrated the computer systems of the Treasury and Commerce Ministries and other US government departments.
However, the Secretary of State noted that such activity is not something new.
“I’ve seen it all the time for some time,” Pompeo said. – They tried to interfere in our elections in 2008, 2012, 2016. In truth, we were more effective at countering them in 2020. This is a real challenge. “
According to the Secretary of State, thanks to the actions of the United States, Russia has incurred some “costs.”
“We urged them to stop this malicious activity. But they represent a real challenge, ”he said.
“What President Trump did is acknowledge these challenges,” Pompeo said. “We have accepted this challenge.”
He said the president has reoriented the national security apparatus so that he can “fight back” such major powers as China and Russia.
The secretary also said Washington is evaluating new reports of a recent assassination attempt against Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Russian intelligence agents were nearby when Navalny was exposed to a highly toxic nerve agent earlier this year, according to new reports.
“We haven’t done anything about the new information yet, just started assessing what we know,” Pompeo said. “But suffice it to say that we recognized and were among the first to take notice of this incredibly malicious activity and demanded that the Russian side explain exactly how it happened and who did it.”
“We are still waiting for these answers,” the Secretary of State continued. “But, frankly speaking, we and our European partners, who have also achieved success in this matter, began to do so that such activities in Russia would turn out to be real costs for it.”