WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. Mitt Romney says widespread data breaches across the U.S. government are “extremely damaging” and that President Donald Trump has a “blind spot” when it comes to Russia, which U.S. officials believe is behind the hacking .
“We realized the president has a blind spot when it comes to Russia,” Romney said in NBC’s “Meet the Press,” one of a series of Sunday morning TV interviews.
U.S. officials and researchers say they believe at least half a dozen U.S. government agencies and thousands of companies infected with malware have infiltrated one of the largest such hacks ever discovered.
Trump only admitted to the hacking on Saturday, nearly a week after it was first reported by , downplaying its importance and questioning whether the Russians were to blame.
The hacking findings come at a vulnerable time as the U.S. government struggles with a contested presidential transition and health crisis over the coronavirus.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told ABC that the cyber attack could be ongoing and that officials have not yet determined its full scope.
Both Warner and Romney said the United States must respond to the incident.
A team of newly elected President Joe Biden, a Democrat, will consider several options to punish Russia on suspicion of having a role after taking office, from financial sanctions to cyber attacks on Russian infrastructure, people familiar with the matter say.