President Joe Biden vowed Wednesday morning he “will deliver” a response to the recent string of cyberattacks against U.S. targets directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden, fielding questions as he was leaving Washington, D.C., for a day trip to Illinois, had just concluded an interagency meeting in the White House Situation Room on the administration’s specific strategy for countering ransomware attacks.
Before boarding Marine One, the president ignored one question on the subject, but when asked what his “message to Putin on cyber” is, he simply responded, “I will deliver it to him.”
Members of both parties criticized Biden for hosting his June summit with Putin in Geneva over concerns that agreeing to a meeting without securing commitments would only enable future malign activity from Russian actors. Yet, the president assured the media at a post-summit press conference that Putin agreed to address cyberattacks carried out by Russian actors.
“I talked about the proposition that certain critical infrastructure should be off-limits to attack, period, by cyber or any other means,” the president stated at the time. “I gave them a list, and I don’t have it in front of me, if I am not mistaken, of 16 entities — 16 defined as critical infrastructure, from the energy sector to our water systems.”
He added that the two leaders agreed to “task experts in both our countries to work on specific understandings about what is off-limits and to follow up on specific cases that originate in other countries, and that’s either of our countries.”
Still, Putin’s account of the cyber discussion varied significantly from Biden’s statements.
Speaking through a translator at his own post-summit press conference, he claimed that it was “common knowledge” within the American government that the United States is responsible for the “majority” of global cyberattacks.
“All they do is to make insinuations,” Putin continued, according to the translator. “What we need is expert consultations between us. We agreed to that in principle, and Russia is prepared for that.”
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Christian Datoc