The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan, weighed in on the ongoing discourse on Russia's alleged attempts in interfering in the US presidential elections. Brennan expressed concerns over the US government retaliating against Russian hacking, warning that the downside of using similar tactics used by America's opponents would be "beneath" them.
"We're fighting for our country, our democracy, our way of life, and to engage. And the skullduggery that some of our opponents and adversaries engage in, I think is beneath this country's greatness," Brennan told National Public Radio in an interview. "I don't think we should resort to some of the tactics and techniques that our adversaries employ against us. I think we need to remember what we're fighting for."
US Intelligence agencies as well as the FBI have come to a consensus over Russia's involvement in the series of high-profile cyberattacks during the elections. The Obama administration has accused Russia and President Vladimir Putin of having been personally involved in directing the cyberattacks, despite repeated denials from the Kremlin.
On 16 December, President Barack Obama said that America would "take action" in retaliation to Russia's alleged cyberespionage attempts. "I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections that we need to take action and we will at a time and place of our own choosing," Obama said.
Obama also added that he personally told Putin to "cut it out" at a face-to-face encounter in China, in September, during a Group of 20 meeting.
Obama has ordered a "full review" into the US election hacking, which is expected to be ready before he leaves office in January 2017. The president was not alone in ordering a probe into the cyberattacks. A bipartisan group of senators have also called on Congress to investigate Russia's alleged involvement in the attacks.
Meanwhile, Russia's neighbours, Lithuania, Ukraine and Germany, among others, have expressed growing concerns about cyberthreats, which they fear could adversely affect the financial and political infrastructure of their respective nations.