As authorities probe a suspected Russia-led hack of government networks, President Donald Trump has been publicly silent on the matter.
Even as a slew of federal agencies acknowledged their computer systems appeared to have been affected by malware spread via Texas-based software company SolarWinds, Trump continued to tweet about a presidential election he had already lost.
With roughly a month left of his first and presumably only term in the White House, Trump claimed on Thursday, without evidence, that the outcome of the November vote was “rigged,” and suggested that the Democratic Party had somehow stolen the election.
The same day, a warning emerged from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), saying that the SolarWinds hack posed a “grave risk” to all levels of the U.S. government, alongside critical infrastructure entities and businesses.
CISA, which operates under Homeland Security, said evidence suggested agencies had been compromised by an advanced persistent threat (APT) actor—another term given to a nation state-level cybersecurity adversary—since at least March 2020.
Trump remained silent as multiple administration officials alluded to the evidence that pointed in the direction of Russia. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted there had been a “consistent effort of the Russians to try and get into American servers.”
Trump remained publicly silent as the Department of Energy, which includes a division overseeing the nuclear weapons stockpile, confirmed it found malware linked to the hackers on its business networks as part of a probe happening in real-time.
And Trump did not respond publicly as his former homeland security adviser Thomas P. Bossert said the “magnitude of this ongoing attack is hard to overstate” and noted that Trump was “on the verge of leaving behind a federal government, and perhaps a large number of major industries, compromised by the Russian government.”
On December 13, then…