Donald Trump has not authorized the U.S. Cyber Command to take action against Russian meddling in the 2018 elections.
Said NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday: “I haven’t been granted any additional authorities…I need a policy decision that indicates that there’s specific direction to do that. The secretary would ultimately make a recommendation to the president…and then based on that, we’d be given specific direction and specific authority….The president ultimately would make this decision in accordance with a recommendation from the secretary of Defense.”
Democrats on the committee seized on Rogers’s comments as evidence that the administration has not done enough to counter future election interference.
“Essentially, we have not taken on the Russians yet,” said Rep. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the ranking member, who accused the administration of “essentially sitting back and waiting.”
While Rogers pushed back on the notion that the administration has done nothing to counter Russian interference, he acknowledged that the response so far—which has included sanctions passed by Congress—has been insufficient in deterring such behavior.
“They haven’t paid a price, at least, that has significantly changed their behavior,” Rogers said.