by Patrick Goodenough, CNSnews:
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Thursday the intelligence community was not ready to blame Moscow publicly for the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails, although he noted Russia’s interference in the politics of countries in its neighborhood, and said it was not unlikely it would try to do the same in the United States.
Answering questions at the Aspen Security Forum, Clapper discussed the policies, mindset and possible motivations of President Vladimir Putin.
He declined to attribute the theft of DNC emails – leaked by Wikileaks on the eve of the Democratic National Convention – to Russia, but minutes later recalled its attempts to interfere in the political processes of nearby countries.
“Particularly in the environs of the former Soviet orb, the Russians will push to exert influence, will attempt to influence political processes in these countries, as we’ve seen them do,” he said.
“So again, to me it’s not a great leap that they might be similarly motivated to try to do the same thing here,” Clapper added.
Answering questions put by CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, Clapper seemed surprised at the reaction there has been to the notion that the Russians may be hacking U.S. institutions.
“I’m frankly taken back a bit by somewhat hyperventilation over this. You know, ‘I’m shocked, somebody did some hacking. That’s never happened before.’ I think it’s illustrative of the need for us as a nation, as a people, to be more – to use the term – resilient about these kind of things.”
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