Video

Newt Gingrich: North Korea Hacking ‘An Act Of War’ [VIDEO]

Alex Griswold Media Reporter

Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett Outfront” said the hacking of Sony by North Korea was an “act of war” that required a serious U.S. response.

“This was a North Korean operation,” Gingrich said. “The North Koreans are the only people that would gain from it, it is an about of war by a state in order to coerce Americans and cripple an American company. They threatened to kill Americans who went to the movies.” (FLASHBACK: Czech Republic Refused North Korean Demands To Ban ‘Team America’)

“We have to react for a very simple reason,” he continued. “The entire world is watching to see what happens if you engage in this kind of cyber-attack on the U.S.”

“I don’t agree with Newt that this is an act of war,” said former Obama State Department official P.J Crowley. “It is an act of aggression. I don’t know that it is an act of terrorism either.” (VIDEO: Gene Simmons On North Korea Hack: ‘Cyber War Has Been Declared’)

But Gingrich disagreed, calling that notion “nonsense”:

“If a foreign country comes into your country and takes down a major corporation, makes it impossible to work in a normal way, steals five movies and then issues threats that it will kill American citizens if they go to a movie theater, that is pretty darn close to an act of war. And I’m not talking about legalisms here. I’m talking about the practical effect.

If we don’t respond in such a way that the entire world understands that North Korea is paying a terrible price– they should pay a price five or ten times bigger than they did. That doesn’t mean you have to be stupid. One technique is our cyber capabilities, go in and close down the country, close down the telephones, and close down the electricity and make it clear if you mess with us, you’ll be in a lot of pain.

But if we don’t do that, we’re sending a signal to Iran and ISIS, to Putin. Russia has a huge cyber capability, the Chinese routinely steal from us and I think it is very dangerous to allow this thing to get escalated gradually until it becomes totally fine for foreigners to wander around America dictating to us what we are allowed to say and do.”

Follow Alex Griswold on Twitter