March 01, 2018

Trump has done nothing to stop Russia from meddling in the 2018 midterms

Featuring Michael Sulmeyer

Source: Vox

Journalist Alex Ward

President Donald Trump has barely acknowledged that Russians meddled in the 2016 presidential election, and now it looks like he’s doing nothing to prevent Moscow from interfering again.

Adm. Michael Rogers, who leads US Cyber Command, told lawmakers on Tuesday that Trump has yet to direct him to strike Russia’s cyber operations where they start. That means Russian President Vladimir Putin — who directed the campaign to disrupt the last US presidential election — has yet to see any serious repercussions for his country’s actions.

Worse, there are almost no substantive measures in place to prevent Russia from meddling in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

The problem, according to Rogers, is he needs specific authorization from the president to go on offense and directly disrupt the hackers’ operations. Without that, he sees no reason why Russia would stop trying to tamper with US elections anytime soon. Rogers did mention, however, that he already ordered some secret measures to defend against Russia’s interference before the next ballots are cast in a few months.

“If we don’t change the dynamic here, this is going to continue, and 2016 won’t be viewed as something isolated,” Rogers told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “This is something that will be sustained over time.”

Michael Sulmeyer, a former top cyber official at the Pentagon, also feels the US should target Russia’s election hackers. “You don’t just wait here and play defense, you also go out and stop this from happening again,” he told me.

Read the full article in Vox.

  • Michael Sulmeyer

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Michael Sulmeyer is the Belfer Center's Cyber Security Project Director at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is also a Contributing Editor for the national security blog Lawfare....