Trump lashes out at the New York Times after report claims he was kept in the dark about US attacks on Russia's power grid

Trump lashes out at the New York Times after report claims he was kept in the dark about US attacks on Russia's power grid
Putin Screengrab

The New York Times is reporting that the United States is cyber attacking Russia's electric power grid and other targets—and that President Donald Trump is being kept out of the loop.


"The American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before."

Trump has not been briefed on the operation because of “the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials.”

The Times wrote:

Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place ‘implants’ — software code that can be used for surveillance or attack — inside the Russian grid.

Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister.

New cyber laws were granted to the U.S. Cyber Command by the White House and Congress last year allowing such “clandestine military activity” in cyberspace to go ahead without the president’s approval.

Trump has lashed back at The Times, accusing the newspaper of committing a "virtual act of treason" over its reporting.

More importantly, The Times article asked:

"The question now is whether placing the equivalent of land mines in a foreign power network is the right way to deter Russia. While it parallels Cold War nuclear strategy, it also enshrines power grids as a legitimate target."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.