A pair of New Jersey’s Congress members are seeking answers on an alleged Russian-backed SolarWinds hack of the State Department and other federal agencies.
Sen. Bob Menendez and Rep. Mikie Sherrill were among the voices calling for answers regarding the supposed Russian hack, arguing the Trump Administration was not taking the threat seriously enough.
In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Senator wrote “I know you share my concerns about the potential for damage that this attack presents to our nation and to the Department of State. I look forward to working with you to arrange for a briefing and a fuller discussion of these issue.”
Menendez Focuses on Russia
Menendez, the ranking minority member of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, noted President Trump had swiftly contradicted Secretary Pompeo’s original assertion that the hack was instigated by the Kremlin.
He noted the State Department had not joined other agencies giving the relevant authorities to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to address the underlying attack.
“While several other cabinet agencies that are victims of this cybersecurity breach have publicly acknowledged been attacked, to date the Department of State has been silent on whether its computer, communication and information technology systems were compromised,” said Menendez.
Sherrill Leans in on Military Experience
Congresswoman Sherrill leaned into her experience with the U.S. Navy to highlight her expertise on the subject, and cited a list of attempts she had taken to warn the Administration of Russia’s prior cyber attack attempts.
Sherrill argued President Trump and his administration were not vigilantly watching Russian aggression in the cyber sphere, resulting in a serious national security lapse.
“I’ve formed a bipartisan working group, I’ve worked with my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee, and I’ve taken my case to the White House Situation Room, all with the goal of confronting Russian aggression. Time and again, I’ve been met with political stonewalling from this administration,” she said.