McCaul Demands Response to Russian Interference
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, questioned the former President of Estonia and other witnesses on the panel at the Foreign Affairs hearing on ways the U.S. can better counter Russia’s weaponization of information and other hostile acts.
Watch the clip of Congressman McCaul here.
Read the transcript below:
Congressman McCaul: “Thank you Mr. Chairman. As Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I have been dealing with the cyber threat for quite some time from many foreign adversary nations. The Chinese stole 20 million security clearances, including my own. Then North Korean’s very devastating attack on Sony Pictures. Iran- getting great capability now. Not as great as ours, but getting better. This latest cyberattack on the Central Intelligence Agency, Vault 7, stealing over 8000 pages of documents with some of the most highly sensitive cyber weapons. Cyber tools in the United States government now stolen, allegedly, by WikiLeaks as they dump it out to the public. This is going to have devastating consequences to all of us because it hands to our foreign adversaries the keys to the kingdom.
And then we get to Russia. Sir, Estonia, we all know the story there…They shut down Estonia in one of the first acts of cyberwarfare.
I was briefed on the Russian threat to our elections when it was classified, in a classified space, when the Obama administration was in power. My advice to them was we need to call them out for what they are doing and there must be consequences…. Their response was we do not want to acknowledge publically the threat. Then, under now-President Trump, the same briefing, with the same advice. I think the president finally understood when he had the classified briefing, that it was in fact a nation-state attack by Russia on the United States against our democracy. And I don’t care whether it’s Republican or Democrat. I care if it’s an American election being challenged, being influenced by a foreign adversary, particularly one like Russia.
So my question very simply to the panel… You know, I’ve got five teenagers. If there are no consequences to bad behavior, guess what? Bad behavior continues. We have no international norms, no international standards when it comes to cyber, whether it be espionage or warfare. To the panel, and I’ll start with you Mr. President. What do we have to do, what should be the consequences when Russia threatens not only our European allies, but your country and NATO, and now the United States of America and our democracy?”