There is “little doubt” Russia is behind the hack of Democratic National Committee emails, a US official told CNN on Wednesday.
The remarks follow a week-long episode where leaked DNC emails showed Democratic officials giving preferential treatment to Hillary Clinton. The emails inflamed supporters of her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, during the Democratic Party’s national convention, which led to widespread protest and the ousting of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Asked about potential consequences for the hack, the White House described “a full range of options available to us in the government.”
“That includes economic sanctions out of Department of Treasury. That includes a number of law enforcement measures that Department of Justice has announced and has taken action on,” said spokesman Eric Schultz.
“The United States isn’t going to pull any punches in terms of our response,” he said.
The FBI said Monday they were investigating the hack. FBI Director James Comey also said Wednesday morning that some of the main players behind cyber threats are nation states like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, but he did not comment on this specific case.
President Barack Obama said “anything’s possible” when asked by NBC in an interview that aired Wednesday whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to interfere with US presidential politics. Obama also noted that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly praised Putin.
Trump said Wednesday that suggestions that Russia orchestrated the DNC hack to help his campaign were “a deflection.”
“Russia has no respect for our country,” Trump said at news conference in Florida. “It shows how weak we are, it shows how disrespected we are … it’s a total sign of disrespect for our country.”
The Kremlin has dismissed the accusations that they’re behind the hack, calling them “made-up horror stories.”