House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said investigating Russia’s alleged cyber attacks will be a “top priority” in the 115th Congress Monday.
The CIA told officials they believe Russia hacked thousands of emails to tilt the scales in favor if President-elect Donald Trump during the course of the election. The FBI’s conclusion into the motives behind the attacks was less definitive, with the agency telling lawmakers during a national security briefing they have not found conclusive evidence the hackings were politically motivated.
“Russia’s recent hacks should be taken very seriously, and the United States must make it a top priority to investigate any outside interference aimed at undermining our democratic process,” McCaul said in a statement. “These types of intrusions, whether from a nation-state or cyber criminals, must be met with a response that is forceful, public, and decisive.”
Trump has dismissed allegations Russia was attempting to tip the scales in his favor. Top lawmakers in both chambers — including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell– said the cyber threats should not be politicized and should be investigated. McCaul said he plans to work with the Trump administration on investigating the matter.
“I will work hand-in-hand with the incoming Administration and Congressional Leaders to enhance our nation’s cyber defenses and continue to assist state and local officials in doing the same, while ensuring there is timely sharing of cyber-threat information to stop intrusions before they happen,” McCaul continued.
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