WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), an ex officio member of the Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement regarding media reports about a sophisticated Russian cyber campaign that breached U.S. Government computer systems:

“There’s a lot that is still unknown about this intrusion into multiple government departments and agencies.  We need to gather more facts.  But early indications suggest President Trump’s tepid response to previous cyber transgressions by Russian hackers emboldened those responsible.  The American people are left to pay a cost for President Trump’s dismissiveness of U.S. intelligence assessments on Russia, including those operations that sought to interfere with the integrity of our democracy.  Not only did President Trump fail to confront Putin, he rewarded him with public pronouncements that he believed Putin over U.S. intelligence professionals.  And twice he inexplicably called for a joint U.S.-Russia cyber working group.  Clearly, the Russians saw a strategic opportunity and took advantage.  News reports indicate the hackers went undetected for months.  We must be able to deter and counter multiple threats simultaneously.

“This was a serious national security breach and it will take careful analysis and hearings to determine the full extent of the damage.  Congress must also take steps to upgrade cyber security, ensure we learn from the Trump Administration’s mistakes, and prevent future hacks of this magnitude.”