tv Representative Adam Schiff Discusses Russian Election- Year Hacking CSPAN January 25, 2017 9:17pm-10:35pm EST
elected president of the united states to be so insecure as to declare he is now the president, he is in the white house, and he is saying i won the poplar vote and 3-5 million americans voted ill illegally in the country? to suggest and undermine the integrity of our voting system is really scared. in addition to that, who wants to investigate something that can clearly be proven to be false but there is just an investigation of the russian disru disruption of the election and his campaign. all we want is the truth for the american people. i frankly feel very sad about the president making this claim. i felt sorry for him. i even prayed for him. but then i prayed for the united states of america. >> next, house intelligence
committee ranking member adam schiff. he spoke about russian cyber hacking. his remarks were followed by a panel with former national security officials. it is an hour and 15 minutes. >> i want to thank all of you for coming today including our panelists and representative schiff and his staff. i will be brief since i don't have a lot of time and we have a lot to talk about. it is my honor to introduce representative adam schiff who represents california's 28th congressional district in los
angeles county. representative schiff is the ranking democrat on the house permanent select committee on intelligence. he is a leader on all intelligence issues and has been outspoken and thoughtful on the issue of russian interference in the recent u.s. presidential election. after the congressman gives remarks, he has agreed and other participants on the panel include rand beers who has a distinguished career of public service including as acting secretary of the department of homeland and at the white house working with people like dick clark. he started serving the country as a united states marine in vietnam. jeremy bass will be on the panel as well.
jeremy is managing director of beacon global strategies and an excellent chief of staff and one of the best people i have worked with at the cia and dod. julie smith is also on the panel. she was a colleague working at the pentagon and for vice president biden. she works with jeremy at the center for new american security. she is also one of the smartest people in town on europe and russia. when i started studying the soviet union we went to peering into the putin's eyes and who knows what phrase we will use to come up with a putin change.
representative schiff, maybe you can help us get clarity. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. it is a pleasure to join you today and my special appreciation for the center for american progress for the fabulous work that the center does and for the invitation to come and speak with you today. i very much look forward to the panel. there is a lot to talk about. what i thought i would focus my brief remarks on is the convergence of two trends tht world. the trend affecting russia at its place in the world and the world view of vladimer putin. as well as the trend of the increasing potency of cyber as a weapon. we saw those trends come into a unique combination last november which brings us to the heart of
the topic today. let me start off talking about russia with an antidote from a few years ago when i was introduce today a russian al and i thought relations between the united states and russia could be different, that putin very much had a chip on his shoulder and anything in the united states' interest was by definition antithetical to putin. but we might have a different relationship based on the autonomy because there was indeed a number of common interests. his answer was very dismissive.
do you know what the job of the pillow carrier is? and when i asked him he said it is the job of the pillow carrier to smuggle mev in his sleep if he does something putin doesn't like. i don't know how well he slept but i would not be sleeping well in that case. i think punt's world view was sharpened after the mass protest in 2011 that we have heard about. i think it is an important chapter unemployedern russia history because -- in modern -- the greatest thing for putin was his longevity in his running the
country. when i meet with the cia i always congratulate them on producing these world changing events. they have far greater capabilities than i am aware of but this is the russian perspective on things. i used to describe even as recently the threat as a creeping situation. but i don't think it is creeping any longer. i don't think we are in a new cold war but a war of ideas between authoritarianism and democracy and representative government. we see that vividly in the russian propagation in its model and desire to tear down
democracies in europe, the american democracy, of course one of the core conclusions of the intelligence community in terms of russian interference was the desire to discord in the united states. so this is -- i think a hugely important battle of ideas. and sadly in this battle of ideas, you see atocracies on the march. you see countries in europe becoming nationalists and changes in the united states where our own president displays authoritarian qualities. the weakening of europe. the brexit. all of these factors are greatly endangering the future of democracy and i think this is going to be the struggle of our times.
let me talk about the explosion of the potentancy of cyber. there is cyber for the purpose of theft, intellectually properties. this is a problem for many countries. you have cyber for the purpose for the gathering of foreign intelligence. you have what we saw very recently in our own election cyber for the purposes of affecting political outcomes, of met medelling in the affairs of
other countries. cyber tragically, i think, for the united states is a wonderfully a weapon. it is phenomenally difficult and expensive to be on defense. one of the illustrations i love to give is target. when target was lacked the hackers got into target through the air conditioning system because in an internet of things you are only as secure as your least vulnerable part of an air conditions. so the example of a heist where they came through the air duct and the thieves were able to migrate to the financial data and then target had a huge problem on its hands.
this is cheap to be done and it be be done remotely and always with some level of -- whether it is north korea attacking a company or russia attacking our democracy it will always put the administration in a difficult position of proving its case when it makes attributions or deciding when it can't do so without giving up important methods and making the decision not to attribute to conduct. this gets me to the point i would like to conclude on and that is our new president is doing deep damage to himself and to our country. he is doing this in many ways. he is doing it in his willingness to make up facts as he goes along. we are under the invention that millions of illegal immigrants
voted. why is this significant? there is a time when the president needs to be believed by the country, there is a time when the president needs to make the case when the intelligence agencies tell us without revealing had sources. if the president can't be believed by his own people, let alone our allies, if the president has impugned the incredible of the intelligence officials providing the best insight in the world what hope does he have of persuading his own country, let alone allies to deal with a threat. this, i think is an enormous problem. as you may remember as early as the september senator feinstein and i made the unusual decision to go public with attribution of russia's hacking before the administration was willing to. we were lobbying the administration to make attribution.
my argument was that the administration didn't need to reveal sources and methods. but it did need to make attributi attribution. whenever that is the case, you have people in the public and press saying where is your proof. but it is going to be very much in our national interest to disclose. i would sure the kremlin would like nothing better than a full account of how we know what the russians were doing. the russians are reverse engineering everything in the open source report to try to figure out how do we know what we know. i think it is important the president have the confidence of the public to be able to come before the american people and say either the iranians are cheating if they are cheating, or the north koreans are advancing on their nuclear war heads or whatever the case is
that warrants action it is important that president have credibility. i think there is no one who is doing more to undermine his own credibility and legit than the president. and revisiting black sites or back to waterboarding or interrogation techniques, the consideration of a ban on immigration or visas to muslims in any form of these are colossal mistakes that will cost us relationships with our allies, many who we depend on in our war in terror. this is a chapter many of us hoped we turned the page on and i think it would be a tragic mistake for the country to revisit this and make the same mistakes all over again. on that optimistic note, i will conclude and look forward to
your discussion. thank you very much. [applause] >> good morning, thank you for the introduction for the panelist and congressman. we have julie, jeremy and congressman schiff. i run the national security program here. i am grateful for there panelists joining us today. there is a lot going on in the news and i am grateful for you taking the time to be here and talk about what might be one of the most important issues we have sort of faced as a country. i am going to bounce around the panel a little bit and come back here and i will try to save time for questions. i think we will have a bunch of
them at the end. i would like to start with you, jeremy, former chief of staff for the pentagon and the cia, one of things we saw this week was maybe an attempt by the president to bridge a divide by going to the langley and talking to cia staff that didn't necessarily play out as we would have expected or liked? and it was sort of questionable whether it has the desired impact. what is the implications, i guess what congressman schiff was talking, what is the consequences for this dynamic between the president and his premier intelligence agency and what does that sort of mean for us having the intelligence we need as a country? >> i was at the agency on december 30th, 2009, a day we sent a dozen of our best officers out to a post in eastern afghanistan to conduct a sensitive counterterrorism operation.
an operation that went tragically wrong when the asset our officers we were supposed to meet detonated a suicide vest and we killed darryl, jennifer, liz, scott, jane and an officer named jeremy and they are memorialized on the wall in the lobby of the orange headquarters building at langley along with hundred other members of the agency who lost their lives serving our country. it was jarring, disturbing and upsetting to a number of intelligence professionals to see the president's presentation there on saturday. as i think about it, there are four areas where this important relationship between a president and his intelligence committee is going to come into tension and potentially conflict. the first is as the congressman noted an the assessment about
russia. the intelligence agency has been clear and warned about the threat of russia and i don't think that is assessed by the president and his team. second on counter terrorism, the president said on saturday essentially we invited isis. that is something he said before and we should have taken their oil and we may have a second chance to take their oil. if you combine that with some of the other misguided count counterterrorism policy he announced such as a hiring freeze for tsa, kucustom and border patrol and others that keep the country safe, and you combine that with going back to waterboarding, misguided policies that don't make us safer or prevent terrorist attacks on the country, you dorsey -- you see a collision between the president and intelligence officers.
it will make the job of intelligence officers harder. third, in an era of alternative facts what does an intelligence officer do? an intelligence officer's credo as emblazed in the lobby is from john, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. all intelligence officers know they have to speak truth to power even when it is uncomfortable but also to allies and advisory about what america stands frchlt when you start with alternative facts, made up facts, lies, it undermines intelligence. intelligence is designed to put parameters around policy. make sure policy is guided by facts. every meeting begins with a predicate of an intelligence picture. if we throw that out the window we are destinned to make bad
views. the president talked about america first. the people i know believe america security depends on the work with other countries. much of the work intelligence officers do is working with other countries to keep us safe. these are many of whom live overseas, like serving oversea. there is more like state department officials than anybody in the country. than raise their children overseas and they believe and they know and they understand you have to be involved in the world. if we just pull up the draw bridge and retreat and have a nationalist approach to our security it won't work. for all of those reasons, i think we are potentially in for stormy weather ahead.
>> the long-standing intelligence community assessment that russia is engaged in aggressive cyber activity in the united states and obviously the election is getting all of the attention button rand is the acting assistant secretary for homeland security and many of the other positions what you do now and what is the spectrum of threats we face and what is beyond the election and what should americans be worried usht about in terms of effecting their every day lives from cyber at large and particularly russia? >> i would start with a simple statement. russia is the greatest threat to the u.s. in cyber space to the world today and we have known this for some time. just looking at the election and
the brief of the dnc or the revelation of the e-mails of john podesta and others. but that is not all there is to it. if we look at the whole spectrum of crime that congressman schiff referred to and we know russian organized crime operates within russian space and what we don't have a clear demarcation about is what is the connection between russian organized crime and the russian state. well, if we can't specifically identify that we can look at a visible fact that isn't happening and that is russia is not cooperating with the united states in criminal
investigations of people living in their country who have breached particular databases within this country whether it be a retail store or other kinds of economic activity within this country. if they are not prepared to do that how can we separate russian organized crime from the russian state? it bothers us is really important consideration of how we need to move forward in the administration. take a look at the critical infrastructure. from electricity, oil and national gas, the financial sector, the retail sector, all of these have areas of vulnerability and all of these are susceptible to the standard practices that any cyber
criminal or state would use. we know fairly clearly that the entry into the dnc came from a fi fi fishing expedition. we know somebody clicked on a site that opened up his e-mail when it was a fishing expedition. as in the case of target to find its way from the hvac vendor into the space and the personal identifiable information that was stolen. all of these represent vectors into our country in vulnerable areas that whether they are manifested today as in the recent efrforts with respect to the election or down the road to
vulnerabilities we will have to correct. we have to come together in a bipartisan passion to deal with these. congress has made some modest steps in this area. but there is a lot more that can be done to allow the government and the private sector to work together in a much more concerted fashion with the ability to get companies and people to adopt the kinds of cyber practices that are necessary. the point about the internet of things or industrial control systems both of which have been built primarily without the kinds of protections in front and allow individuals or countries to get into the those systems and do or potentially be able to do significant damage to the united states, to the economy, the security, and the personal safety of americans. so i think this is something we
will have to face up to. this is a big warning but in many ways it is only the tip of the iceberg and we will have to pay more attention to it. i know congressman schiff is intent upon doing this but it has to be on both sides of the aisle. it can't be an argument about well any regulation is a bad regulation. let's think about what kinds of authorities we need to give to the government and what kinds of liability we need to give to the private sector for the kinds of p co-operation. it is necessary if we will have any chance of dealing with this. but as congressman schiff said, it is a lot easier to do offense than defense. if you don't do defense at all shame on you. >> julie, turning to you, congressman schiff pointed out
the breadth of the activity and he noted the criminal nexus. but clearly this has been a bigger problem or seen as a bigger problem in europe and for our transatlantic partners. this has been field tested and expanded by russia. can you just tell us a little bit about the aims you think russia has against us and also closer to home in europe and in its immediate neighborhood. >> sure. everything we have talked about here this morning russian acts of intimidation, russian aggression, russian hacking, cyber attacks, this is in essence old news to our friends in europe. they have been experiencing this for years. they have been warning us about it. and they have been trying very hard to work with the united states to develop new tools, new sets of relationships to address
our common and shared v vulnerabilities. and the aim of russia for both sides of the atlantic is crystal clear. the fundamental aim of the russians is to weaken the rules based order. all of the institutions that europe and the united states have spent 70 years creating, the whole alphabet soup of nato, the u.n., the eu, the lis goes on and on, russia wants to undermine those institutions and russia wants to divide europe from within and divide europe from the united states. how is it doing that? first, it is trying to interfere in the political process in europe and here. it does that by getting involved directly in elections as we have seen here in the united states. but now germany, now that it has an election coming up later in the fall this year, is now
seeing a tremendous spike in the cyber activities of the russians inside the german political system. it had a major incident in may of 2015, a massive hacking, and ever since then for years now it has seen increased activity. germany is not alone in that regard. you can travel anywhere in central and eastern europe and encounter similar antidotes in that neighborhood. the second thing the russians are doing is using the media to try to create alternative news, alternative narratives, fictitious narratives to sew doubts among our allies from within their own political system and to discredit the institutions we have spent so many decades trying to build up and reform and adapt to the new security challenges. russia is buying up media outlets in places like italy, in
ro rome. it is investing in billions in things like russia today. last year it invested a billion in russia today. and frankly the ways in which and the tools we have to counter those efforts from a strategic communication perspective just are dwarfed by comparison. we are not doing enough. we are not being innovative enough. we are not being creative enough. and the russians are seizing on the fact many of the bu bureaucratic method are cumbersome. they have failed and we will have to get more creative and innovative in these challenging. i mentioned russia is funding some of the populus populations we see rising. the best example is marie pen in paris.
one third of her budget for the election last time around came from the russians. it is public knowledge. i can guarantee you as she prepares for the french election this spring one would expect the russians to be loaning her funds for her campaign going forward. the question is what do we do about the -- this? we need to bolster and strengthen the institutions we have invested in and develop new tools and capabilities to deal with the challenges. what is our president doing right now? he is moving in the expect opposite direction. president trump is tilting toward russia and mosco. he has talked about meeting with him to have some sort of warming in our bilateral ties.
he has said disparaging things about the nato alliance. you can imagine many who have heard this is it creating tremendous alarm among our european allieallies. their are worried about intelligence sharing and how far you can protect the united states and frankly they are worried about whether or not the u.s. is going to under monopoly mine the institutions and i think what we have to do right now is make the case to reassure our allies that all are those out there that want to see the transatlantic relationship strengthened and challenge the president as he tries to foster some sort of new, kinder, gentler relationship and talk about the risk to our european allies of cutting a deal with
russia over the heads of our european partners which are the strongest allies we have in the world. no other set of allies do more to help the security and safety of our friends in europe and jeopardizing that would be a huge mistake. >> thank you, julie. there are so many areas i can go. representative schiff, i want to come back to you, your loan and having seen the public and highly classified intelligence on the spectrum of the threats we have been discussing and i want to ask you a double-barrelled question. the first is given what you have seen how do you think free democratic societies can respond to threats that icoming flaum autocratic societies? do we need to stoop to the level?
do we need to go on the offense? my second part of the question is what do you make of the fact that i think it is fair to say that the only entity, person, not criticized on twitter by the new president is actually vladimer putin and russia. having seen what you have seen i would like to get your reaction to that. >> they are great questions. first, i think we need to do a complete investigation of just what the russians did. there are a lot of questions. some have have been partially answered and some not answered publically at all. we need to investigate what the russian did.
we are aware of the hacking deand dumping documents and the degree the propaganda was involved but are there other vectors used? one of those is allegations of a direct connection between the kremlin and the trump campaign. congress needs to investigate every aspect of what the russian did. and then we need to look at how they did it. we need to further probe why they did it. and then obviously we need to develop a much better game plan for how we push back against every platform that the russians used. i think one of the most effective things they do is in the propaganda realm. when we think about the voice of america for many people can conjures up the old images of the radio microphones and that is not a bad image for us to think about. in many respects, we are so far
behind the ball in terms of meeting this russian propaganda it is as if we are still using old fashion broadcast radio to compete with the variety of platforms the russians are using. everything from paid media trolls to the slick artsy and the influence they have buying up media platforms elsewhere, so i think we need to understand just what techniques the russians are using and then we have to pushback against each and every one. that doesn't mean we immolate the russians nefarious conduct. when the administration made attributions of what the russians were doing and questions were raised on what should our response be i was advocating working with european
partners that are subject to the same nefarious actions and we put sanctions on russia. this is the most painful thing for the kremlin; something that bites their economy. it all comes back to putin and his fears of longevity. the only thing that threatens him is the declining economy and the ultimate impact that will have on the popularity of his regime. i think we ought to have a cl clandesceclan decemb clandescent response and that doesn't meep we want to further degrade what little democracy they have left in russia. there are ways we can send a message to the kremlin that they will pay a price in the cyber world for interfering in our democracy. and getting back to rand's point about offense/defense. yes, we have to do far more on offense. but we also have to establish a
deterrent and i don't think we have done this at are all. i was vocal of the hack on sony because it affected constituents of mine but because i felt the lack of a more vigorous response to the north korean hack would be interpreted not only by north korea but by potentially others as saying this a low-cost, easily deniable way to attack our enemies. we have to establish a more potent deterrent. we could devastate north korea. but we are in many ways even more at-risk because of the degree to which we are electronically wired and integrated and tools north koreans have could wreak havoc
on us. what i was advocating is we get to north koreans attention and gain effort to get good information from the north korean people about how bad their regime is so they know if they mess with us they will have more exposed to how they are starving their own people and how a terrible autocratic rule they have. i think we need to respond. we don't necessarily want to respond in the same way the russian are attacking us and our allies. but i think it is soivate -- so vitally important we make common cause with the freedom of people around the world. i think our title as the leader of the free world is at risk when we cozy up to the kremlin. when we tell our friends we may not have their backs and i think this causes our european allies to make common cause with the
kremlin and cut deals in the arab world with the rugz russian and they get a sense they can't rely on the united states to be the bum bulk of freedom and that could be a terrible thing for us and people all over the world. >> what are your and among your colleagues -- not even some modest show of criticism or concern about the activity from moscow and the activity of vladimer putin? >> for all the reason weez have been discussing, this is enormously concerning to democrats and republican alike. a part from mccain and graham they are not at willingness to confront the president. that will only last so long. i don't think the party of reagan is completely deadi. after a suitable honeymoon period there will be some republicans who will find their voice and express alarm at our
playing any kind of supporting role to the russian propagation of atocracy around the world. i think it is part of the broader pathology of this president. he takes a position, one of admiration for vladimer putin and when he is questioned he doubles down and questioned again and he quadruples in the same way he is doubling down on the claim that millions of illegals voted and >> calle calling for an investigation. you can see one thing leading to another, unwillingness to back down and admit error and this country moving deeply off the rails. >> to tie together the russian counter terrorism conversations,
letting putin get his way means outsourcing the fighting in syria to russia in effect. president trump has said he will let russia take on isis. and russia can do what it wants in the name of taking on what they claim to be isis and al-qaeda which is moderate syrians who could cake their country back and i think that is dangerous counterterrorism policy because it takes our eye off the ball of the external operations in europe seeking to conduct operations in europe and the united states. and it would wipeout any hope of having moderate syrians who could govern syria in the future. >> i agree with all of that and i think we should keep our eye on syria. i would just note that we should probably also keep our eye on russia's evolving sets of relationships with our allies
across the middle east. we have been very focused for all the right reasons on what russia has done and is doing in side syria but i think we should watch the very positive relationship between russia and turkey, one of our nato allies, russia and egypt, russia and saudi arabia, russia and iran, and look at how russia is trying to go bit by bit, across the middle east and try to undermine our existing relationships and as the congressman pointed out call into question our reliability and credibility as a partner. ....
perhaps america is to engage in the world in an isolation that n the path represents an enormous threat to the future position in the world and in particular with respect to the middle east. we cannot allow that to happen in terms of our relationship with our allies. to go back to where we started, each of those countries is equally vulnerable to cyber threats from russia in retaliation for the positions they may take that may be in our interests, so we have to work with them just as we have to work with the europeans to
ensure that we ar are in the bet position and they are in the best position to defend themselves and we have to be prepared to respond in a vigorous fashion more than trump has given us the position of doing. >> let me give the view from the white house that the american people are tired of all of these commitments overseas that our allies don't do enough as we hear from him regularly and it's a view shared by president bush before him and president obama before had and that essentially he's calling everybody's bluff and expects that you will get a better outcome that those that voted for president trump are saying focus at home and as important as it is it's not working for a lot of us. how do you endors enforce the nn that american leadership on the
stage is good for americans at home? >> his approach is designed to weaken nato. >> the data is very schizophrenic on what americans want. we are still feeling the aftermath of iraq and afghanistan. nobody wants to take over the country and to have 200,000. but americans are worried about their standing in the world and about the leadership and engagement so we have to find the sweet spot between the committing of the united states and many institutions that we have invested in. the first comment that comes out of somebody, who helps us the most in combating ebola.
look at those that are countering right now. yes it is a list of 6 65 plus wn you pair it down to those that are conducting military operations, it is almost exclusively europeans without exception. >> it's always been very popular to attack around the world and usually a democrats and republicans during the campaigns when they are asked what would q. cut even democrats say you would think that if half of our budget. the united states has always been a punching bag and this was very unique i and that nato bece a punching bag. the fallacy of all of this is that all of our involvement with more assistance in nato etc.
they are essentially something we do for the rest of the world and in a completely other interested fashion. we'd hear back the most benefit from the order around the world from these institutions they are a force multiplier for us and we don't want to take on ourselves the obligation of defending the rest of the world without allies without help and i think to the degree. that is going to be a popular thing to make. they continue to make the case
of all of the charters after 9/11. the standard process for the crisis management is that the first piece of information is almost always wrong or inaccurate and if the response is to go out with a declaration and you double down on the exploration when you could challenge how many we could conceivably go down and that occurs in cyberspace as well. the breach that occurred years ago, the response on the attribution side but it was
china. it's very easy to use in the ip address that is not your own and not in your country as a way to get in to somebody's information. if that's the kind of knee-jerk reaction you get out of the first to cyber incident, that's going to lead us down the same kind of grab hold unless there's careful thought and going forward about how to deal with and think about crisis management. >> we talked about a broad range of threats and congressman cummings said congress needs to investigate and the committee on intelligence is going to investigate and will conduct a thorough investigation but obviously that would be mostly classified setting.
there is both inclusively and about outside of the day-to-day are affecting every debate we have right now and is able to go wherever the evidence leads. would you or other panelists generally agree with that ax. >> we are in discussion with the majority to make sure the scope of the investigation doesn't wall off any area that is out of bounds because we have to follow the evidence wherever it leads but i think it makes little sense to be doing separate investigations of the same issue calling the same agencies before us multiple times.
it's a joint inquiry produced by the house and senate investigation. i think we should follow that model and i also think the significance of this is the foreign adversarial power on something like a 9/11 commission and a think the public would benefit from the apolitical nature of the investigation like that. the report has about as much credibility produced by any commission and we ought to have something in that caliber here. >> i have one more question which is pulling us back to a broad theoretical level. you and anybody can take this question. why do you think the idea
espoused by the new model and as for christ christie in a democrc system, you know, so sort of whether it is putin and turkey and others, why is there such currency for that, what is going on inside of the country and democracy that's opening up a lot of space and ideas. what do you think is going on here? there's all sorts of reasons for it. the weak economy is in many cases not very dynamic but
they've struggled since 08 to recover from that crisis but there's also a tremendous disconnect between the institutions and the elites of the national capitals across europe and folks feeling like they don't get to participate and decision-making iinthe decie european union, and that is paired with a number of complex national security challenges whether it is counterterrorism challenges or the impact of the mass migration and the rising anti-immigrant, anti-muslim sentiment that you see which is tied to some long-standing challenges of integration and muslim minorities in the country so it really stems from lots of different sources that sven a perfect storm. the other nations paired with the multilateral institutions.
if you have a strong drink nearby, the national intelligence council did a report recently. the automation and a reversion to this getting worse. that is as good an explanation for the phenomenon that we are seeing is not an unrelated phenomenon between the election of donald trump and others around the world and the
>> final question before i go to the audience for some q-and-a. you mentioned that everybody that has the capability is using icapabilities usingit for espio. and the president himself has said is he upset about what china has done etc.. can you address the difference between what we are seeing in russia. we see collection from the national security and commercial purposes. we started to see some disruption for example from the attacks against the american financial system in 2012 with kind of a low tech stuff and initial efforts tnational effore script or banking system. but i think what is fundamentally different here is we haven't seen the actors used to cyber tools and capabilities
to engage in the campaign to disrupt and undermine our democracy and i think it is fundamentally a different quality of attack against the country. >> one of the aspects that makes this challenging is overtime there's been interest in different countries in obscuring the differences between different cyber activities. by that, i mean when china was engaged in a massive ip threat and snowden makes his statement, the chinese not distinguishing because i it isn't in their interest between the use of the intelligence gathering for economic theft and a competitive advantage to their industries from the foreign intelligence gathering. then we have a situation where as pointed out the russians go
beyond the intelligence gathering and it may be something i hope the investigation will determine, it may be at the time the russian actors and heard the dnc they may have anticipated this would be like any other operation and it would end their thoughts are seeing that this would be effectively recognized in dumping that information but now we see the president and his team wanting to blur the lines between china and the foreign intelligence gathering purposes and russia which was the purpose of affecting the outcome of an election so when you have actors in the democracy willing to obscure the differences between intelligence gathering and interference of political affairs and foreign actors trying to do the same, i think that it is incumbent on us to try to develop where we can the
rules of the road and what is permissible in cyberspace. president obama made some progress saying the economic espionage is something we have to agree on and ought to be outside the lane. i don't think we will ever be able to prevent or establish a rule of the road we can't engage in the intelligence gathering and even if we did, no one would follow that in their interest but we ought to establish a red line when it comes to the dumping of information to influence democratic outcomes and obviously, we are far from having done that. >> let me open it up and take some questions. >> i have a question for the vice chair and jeremy especially. charlie savage just got ahold of the three-page executive order by "the new york times." the draft order would revoke
mr. obama's executive order to close guantánamo, but also the directed and cia black sites and granted the red cross access among other things. what do you think that will do to the u.s. standing in the world, and jeremy, do you think that the officers want to get back in the business of interrogation? >> i think that would be a tragic mistake to repopulate guantánamo or keep it open as the president elect suggested on the campaign trail and maybe this is part of the purpose of the executive order. it has been an earning magnet around the world and a black eye around the united states. what's more if it is necessary because we have seen the criminal justice work effectively in the tribunals prosecuting terrorism, so it is an unnecessary as well.
the reopening of black sites and whether we ought to go back to the waterboarding or some other form, all of this i think is deeply disparaging to the country. it costs us a relationship with allies who will not want to cooperate with us if they believe that may lead to the repopulating of guantánamo or someone that may help us in the process of containing or arresting the black sites. so from the intelligence cooperation perspective i think that it's also deeply damaging at thand the final point that il make is i think it is corrosive should we ever get back in the business of enhanced interrogation techniques i don't think it could help but to have
an impact on the people that participate and support it so for the benefit it is not something we should engage in. >> we haven't engaged in waterboarding since 2004 but it happened to keep our country safe. we haven't used black sites since president bush. and it was president bush that emptied it, not president obama. president bush did i didn't have time to cia director was up for nomination. and somehow managed to keep the country safe and we somehow manage to keep the country safe because we got smart and effective counterterrorist policies in the previous decade. i agree with the congressman. i don't think we should go back to those days because it would be a distraction. i picked up precisely zero appetite for doing that again among the intelligence officers. >> if i could quickly add as we know tens of thousands of fighters have poured into syria
over the last five or six years. a large portion come from europe and hold that european passports that enable them to travel freely to the united states. the best defense we have is our very deep counterterrorism cooperation with our european allies particularly in the area of intelligence sharing and law enforcement. if the president pursues what you've outlined and we have a return to waterboarding or black sites or guantánamo, those very stronstrong counterterrorism cooperation initiatives that we share with our closest allies will then be in jeopardy. >> the predicate of the question is whether cia officers want to get back in the business of interrogation. they are in the business in the interagency process along with counterparts in the fbi and the defense intelligence community and that is the appropriate way that should be financed team
america going to the detainees. when omar farouk abu abdou he had important information about who sent him and how he got into the country. that is the model of how we should be doing business. >> one last point to follow-up, the interagency process but he's describing has not only been very successful but also has done an important research in terms of what works and what doesn't to help inform the intelligence community and law enforcement going forward. so that is the right model and i hope that we will take advantage of the considerable research. that was a very productive question. i'm going to go to the back.
>> people in the back never get questions. >> congressman, you mentioned the sony hack. in the aftermath of became public knowledge that part of the way we were able to attribute it to the north korean government was through software that the intelligence community planted in a number of systems that alert back to the fact it was going to occur perhaps before it actually happened. you mentioned that the more recent hack by russia we may not have realized immediately that information was going to be weaponize in the routine intelligence gathering. gathering. how'd we make thahow do we maket determination for anyone who wants to answer it, when an oncoming cyber attack is coming could be weaponize towards something not influencing the outcome of an election versus may be more lower level type of vandalism or just for embarrassing or blackmailing and things like that.
>> let me start out on that. first of all, technologically i don't think there is a way to say that this particular hack is going to be weaponize but you have other sources of information of what they are doing and why. sometimes that may tell us the purpose but often we may not know until later and i think we have to try to anticipate how any particular might be used and how the data can be used. obviously of the thing, the thie looking at is when the agencies understood for example it has been penetrated what kind of steps they take, were they sufficient steps? this hasn't been designated infrastructure but nonetheless, it was easy in our imagination or should have been how that could be used if they made a
determination to do so. the other thing i do want to bring up with respect to your question in the sony hack in to the russian hack because this is something we need to do some introspection about and that is the russians and north koreans used our own institutions and the media to heighten the effectiveness of their attack and sometimes the media was all too willing to be utilized in this manner. in the case of sony, iron member taking strong issue at th issuee with the publication of the details about celebrities and what producers were saying about them. it actually plays into the hands of north koreans but wanted to do everything to destroy sony. it was deeply damaging and public policy value of the e-mail was negligible or nonexistent.
fast-forward to thfast forward e important situation where you have the dnc and podesta e-mails. i had conversations along with my editors of the major newspapers and the argument i was trying to make unsuccessfully once i am not going to say that you should never publish something that is the result of a foreign adversarial packing and stealing to manipulate public opinion. there may be things of such interest where you feel compelled to publis publish butt should never be done without the context. all of the coverage when you are going to be publishing the documents should begin with an document packed by the russians are believewere believed to be y the russians for the purposes of the democracy it was learned that so the readers can evaluate why they are being given misinformation.
and i also think in terms of the congress we need to think long and hard about something president obama said during a press conference a couple weeks ago on the subject and that is our political process has become so hyper partisan and so filled that too often we think anything is acceptable as long as it helps us and hurt them and in this context, enough republicans believe that it was okay for the russians to the hacking and founding documents because it was helping their side. and in this respect i keep coming back to something when the democracies hang themselves, the capitalists will supply the rope. unfortunately i won't right now are suppl supporting the roof ae need to think about what we are doing that is facilitating the effort to dismantle our own
>> to have some accountability in the sophistication. one of the things that we intend to do undemocratic side is lack of partners of the investigation so we can let the public know but to the degree we can. >> i served under seven presidents we have the and alum -- alumnae group. one is a former - - formal technical director one week
ago but the president said this, the conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to russian hacking were not conclusive in other words, there is a big gap with the intelligence community it does not know hall or if that information exist now do you know more than obama? laugh laugh. >> i would never claim to know more than obama. >> i have every confidence with then dnc with john best