We always knew Obama’s former National Security Advisor Susan Rice was pulling the strings regarding the Russia collusion hoax starting with the unmasking she ordered of President Trump’s campaign associates. We also knew that former President Barack Obama was pulling Rice’s strings, however, there was no smoking g*n to prove that…until now.
Former Obama administration National Security Council cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel confirmed on Wednesday that a “stand down” order was given to counter Russian cyber attacks during the 2016 election. That stand down order came directly from Rice herself.
According to Obama’s former cybersecurity “czar,” who flipped on Rice, and sailed her down the river when he told the world that Rice gave him a “stand down” order implicating not only Rice but Obama himself. Rice’s order to Daniel was first reported in Russian Roulette, a book published in March 2018 that details Russia’s meddling in the election.
In the book, authors Michael Isikoff and David Corn reported that Daniel was developing strategies to respond to Russian cyber attacks on U.S. companies and political campaigns. He proposed using what is known as a denial of service attacks to take down Russian propaganda news sites and to attack Russian intelligence agencies. Another idea proposed was to announce a bogus “cyber exercise” against a Eurasian country. The ultimate goal was to simply put the Kremlin on notice that its own infrastructure was not invulnerable and could easily be infiltrated by the U.S.
Daniel was asked about a specific passage in the book during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing by Sen. James Risch (ID-R). The passage was about a staffer from Daniel’s team, Daniel Prieto, retelling the time that Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice told Daniel and his team to halt their efforts and to “stand down” in countering Russia’s cyber attacks.
Rice opposed the proposal according to the account given in Russian Roulette. According to the book, Rice stated to Daniel in a meeting in August 2016 – “Don’t get ahead of us.”
Daniel spoke of his own frustration and that of his staff as they were ordered to do nothing. Prieto is quoted in Russian Roulette as stating – “I was incredulous and in disbelief. Why the hell are we standing down? Michael, can you help us understand?”
Daniel confirmed that the exchange did take place as depicted in the book during a round of questions from Risch.
“That is an accurate rendering of the conversation at the staff meeting,” he testified.
Obama cyber chief confirms ‘stand down’ order against Russian cyberattacks https://t.co/49CUI1XQaT
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 22, 2018
According to the Washington Free Beacon –
“Risch asked if Daniel’s area of supervision completely ceased after the “stand down” order.
“No, we shifted our focus in that September and October timeframe to focus heavily on better protecting and assisting the states in better protecting the electoral infrastructure and ensuring that we had the greatest visibility as possible into what the Russians were doing and developing essentially an incident response plan for election day,” Daniel said.
“But as far as your cyber response, you were told to stand down. Is that correct?” Risch asked.
“Those actions were put on the back burner, yes. That was not the focus of our activity during that time period,” Daniel said.
In the same hearing, former Obama State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Russian President Vladimir Putin expected deterrent measures when Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election but didn’t see them so he felt he could “keep pushing.”
During eight years of the Obama administration, Russia was able to invade Ukraine, annex Crimea, prop up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and interfere in the 2016 election. In response to its aggressive behavior, Obama personally warned Putin to “cut it out.” As his presidency was coming to an end, Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the implementation of new sanctions against the country.”
The Washington Post reports that Obama himself — along with three top aides — were given direct evidence from the CIA of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s cyber campaign to influence the election.
The Obama administration reportedly knew of Russia’s actions for months ahead of the 2016 election but failed to take retaliatory action until December. Yet Obama merely approved a very modest package for retaliation combining measures that had been drawn up to punish Russia for other issues — expulsions of 35 diplomats and the closure of two Russian compounds, along with economic sanctions so narrowly targeted that even those who helped design them describe their impact as largely symbolic.
“It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend,” a former senior Obama administration official involved in White House deliberations on Russia said of the administration’s inaction. “I feel like we sort of choked.”
WaPo further reports on the current response from the Senate just this month in the passage of a bill that “would impose additional election- and Ukraine-related sanctions on Moscow and limit Trump’s ability to lift them. The measure requires House approval, however, and Trump’s signature.
This account of the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s interference is based on interviews with more than three dozen current and former U.S. officials in senior positions in government, including at the White House, the State, Defense and Homeland Security departments, and U.S. intelligence services. Most agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the issue.”