The Obama administration tried to bring the nation’s cyber crisis under control but failed, so it’s up to President Donald Trump’s administration to solve the issue, Rep. Pete King commented Wednesday, while responding to Vice President Mike Pence’s claims that the last administration “all but neglected” cyber security.
“I would say in fairness to the Obama administration, [Homeland Security Secretary] Jeh Johnson tried,” the New York Republican told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“At the end of the eight years under the Obama administration, we weren’t better off than we were.”
Pence blamed the Obama administration for Russian meddling, saying President Donald Trump’s administration inherited a cyber-crisis.”
“Previous administrations have let the American people down when it came to cyber defense,” Pence said during the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Summit in New York City Tuesday, reports Fox News.
“At the outset of this administration, it became clear from early on: In a very real sense, we inherited a cyber-crisis.”
“Whatever improvements we made, our adversaries did better,” King said about the administration under former President Barack Obama. “The Obama people tried, didn’t work. It is important for the Trump administration to get this done.”
King said that the Risk Management Center that has been set up under the Department of Homeland Security is a positive step, but what is lacking is more input from the private sector.
“Most of the key facilities are under the control of the private sector, said King. “Unless they come forward and share threat information and unless we can find ways to deter the threats it won’t be effective.”
The Obama administration knew about Russia’s efforts to hack into the United States’ accounts and more, and tried to do something, but still “it was totally ineffective. We need more cooperation and a concerted effort by the federal government.”
Earlier on CNN, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that Obama confronted Putin about Russian interference, and he tasked the intelligence community to generate an assessment.
“He just proved my point,” said King. “President Obama warned Putin not to do it. Putin continued to accelerate: As far as the report written in the final weeks of the Obama administration, that was a political hit job as much as anything else…
“Right up until December 5 we were being told that Russia, while they were interfering, they weren’t favoring anyone. Suddenly we’re told Russia was favoring President Trump all along. Which I don’t believe was the case.”
On Tuesday, current Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the next 9/11 attack will hit the nation online instead of by airplane, but 21 states have no concrete plans to fight back, noted show host Bill Hemmer.
“It is really up to the Department of Homeland Security to control the efforts,” said King.
“We have to pressure the states and encourage them to cooperate with the federal government with a shared threat analysis and come up with defenses, so their voting system cannot be interfered with. You do have 50 different states with their own way of doing it. It’s important for them to realize they can be hacked.”
More states, though, must realize cyberattacks are a serious threat, he said.
“In the last election there is no really finding that they interfered with the vote totals, but they can try to disrupt the voting charts and rolls,” said King.
“Again, we know that Russia and other countries, especially Russia, are going to do to do this…if Russia will do it someone else will also try to do it. We have to be ready for 2020.”
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