tv Senators Press FBI for Answers on Wiretapping Claim at Hearing on Russian... CSPAN March 16, 2017 6:04pm-8:02pm EDT
senate committee hearing in just a minute, but first a look at president trump's budget p proposal which was released today. the graphic here from the "washington post" shows that the budget will reduce funds to the epa, state department and department of agriculture while increasing funding of the defense department, homeland security and v.a. raise your right hand. >> with the confirmation hearing for supreme court nominee neil gorsuch starting next week, tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern, we'll look at the confirmation hearings of all eight current supreme court justices. starting with justice anthony kennedy in is the 8 1987. clarence thomas in 1991. ruth bader ginsburg 1993. stephen breyer, 1994. john roberts 2005. samuel alito, 2006. sonia sotomayor, 2009.
and elena kagan in 2010. watch tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. yesterday the senate judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism held a hearing on russia's attempts to influence democratic countries around the world. lawmakers focused their questions on russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. >> thank you, all. the hearing will come to order and i appreciate senator whitehouse. how we've worked together to get here and all the subcommittee members who participate. a little housekeeping. i will soon announce our panel and mess your names up, so i apologize. if i butcher your name, is, i apologize in advance. we'll do seven-minute rounds. i'll swear in the panel just in
a second. but i wanted to kind of make an announcement. we apparently were inform eed b the fbi just a few minutes ago that they would be responding to our letter, the letter that senator whitehouse and myself sent to the department of justice and to the director of the fbi march 8th, 2017, that they would be responding with a classified briefing, i think to the chair and ranking member. we'll give you more details as they become available to us. but this letter was a pretty simple request. was there a warrant issued by any court anywhere in the united states allowing the surveillance of the trump campaign, trump tower, any trump operative, during the 2016 election? and please provide the information that was used to
obtain a warrant. if a warrant was requested and denied, we'd also like to know that. so apparently the fbi has contacted my staff that they will be at some date in the future providing us an answer to this in a classified manner and with that i'll turn it over to senator whitehouse if he'd like to respond for a second before we move forward. >> i think one of the things that we have tried to do here is to proceed outside of a classified setting. the intelligence committees are working in a classified setting. the added value i think that this subcommittee's work provides is to be able to have a
public discussion. if a small town wakes up one morning to find that all the shop windows on main street have been smashed, it is appropriate and, indeed, it is incumbent on the police chief to reassure the town that law enforcement will be looking into that incident. it's even legitimate to say here are the people i've assigned to it and it's certainly legitimate to say and we intend to get to the bottom of this. in my mind, the unclassified intelligence committee -- intelligence community report is smashed windows all up and down main street. and it is now not only
appropriate but incumbent upon law enforcement to say, we are looking at this, we intend to get to the bottom of this and we have these resources dedicated to accomplishing that purpose. that is an entirely appropriate act for law enforcement in those circumstances. it has added significance wehen you're dealing in our constitutional separation of powers. it is not, in my view, appropriate for the executive branch of government to either tell or suggest to a legislative investigative subcommittee that they should hold back or not proceed or otherwise restrain themselves in our legitimate investigative function, one which president wilson said years ago, was preferred to our
legislative function, in order to not compromise ongoing law enforcement investigations and at the same time not confirm that law enforcement investigations are ongoing. that is a recipe for having the ball plop between the second baseman and the shortstop. with are entitled to investigate under the constitution. they have executive responsible responsibilities. if we are only connecting with one another in a classified fashion, i don't think that serves the public interest. we pull pursue this further. that's my initial reaction to the news. >> senator grassley and feinstein have been very supportive of this subcommittee. i just talked with senator grassley a few minutes ago and thi i think there's an attitude on the committee we need to get answers for the american people appropriately in an appropriate fashion. so what are we trying to do?
the current president says that he believes that the former president maybe not personally but the former president through the government surveilled his campaign in 2016. as a matter of fact, today they said they're extremely confident there was some kind of surveillance of the campaign. i have no evidence of that, but i can tell you this, that question needs to be answered because i don't think it's ever been raised before and the bottom line is a lot of americans are wondering what's going on here. so what i'm trying to do is get answers to questions raised by president trump. he's asked us to investigate and we will. and to me, it's very reasonable to ask the fbi and department of justice, did you ever seek a warrant? was a warrant obtained from any court anywhere about the trump campaign? if the answer is no, then we'll know that didn't happen. if the answer is yes, that would be pretty stunning to me because they would have to have probable cause. i don't know what the answer is,
but i know it's the right question to ask. the second thing, we met with the director, i think on march the 8th, and we said, senator whitehouse and myself, we want to know if there's a criminal investigation of the trump campaign and ties to russia because we're about to launch an investigation into all the things russia regarding the 2016 election. i don't want to compromise your investigation. i don't want to get in the way of your investigation. but the congress is proceeding fairly blindly here. i think we would all be better off as a body if we knew there was an investigation or not. if there's not one, we'll take into consideration about how we might do things differently. if there is one, we don't want to roughun afoul of it. i don't think that's an unfair thing to ask. we gave the director until today to answer that question. all i can see is i still don't have the answers to those questions. i like the director of the fbi, comey. i thing hek he's a fine man.
the department of justice has responsibility here, too. i just want to let the american people know that this subcommittee, with support of the chairman and ranking committee, that we're going to get an answer to whether or not the trump campaign was surveilled, was a warrant ever requested, was one issued? and i hope to be able to answer the question, is there an active investigation on the criminal side of the trump campaign regarding ties to russia? director of national intelligence, clapper, said a couple weeks ago he had no evidence of collaboration between the trump campaign and russia, but the best way to find out, defendants believe, is to have people in charge today with that responsibility to tell us and we're going to get there. i don't know howie get the we g but we're going to get there together. going to do it as republicans and democrats. we have a ranking member and chairman who support us. now, the hearing today is to explain to the american people what russia's up to. russian officials have been on television pretty fiercely in the last couple of days saying
that we, the congress, are demonizing the russian government. what i'm trying to explain to the american people that the russian government and putin's hands has been up to no good in a lot of places for a long time when it comes to breaks the back of democracy. that what happened here, and i'm convinced that the russians are involvedpodesta's e-mails. it wasn't a 400-guy sitting on a bed. it was the russians, intelligence services. i'm confident they shared it with wikileaks. to my republican colleagues, it could happen to us next. my goal is to make a case we're notizing russia. we make a case that they should be punished for what happened in 2016 to deter other foreign powers that may want to interview in future elections. so with that, we have a great panel and if you would all please rise. >> statement. >> oh, i'm sorry.
>> go ahead, do the swearing. >> okay. go ahead. >> raise your right hand, please. do you solemnly swear the testimony you're about to give before the committee is the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me god now senator whitehouse. >> propaganda, espionage, blackma blackmail, subversion. the 21st century versions of these are fake news, hacking and political capture. the russians have been at this for a long time. they've adapted old mit methods to new technologies making use of social media, malware and complex financial transactions. the purposes, themselves, are timeless. over the course of the last decade, we've seen russia manipulate the politics of other countries, undermine faith in western constitutiinstitutions.
last month, russian foreign minister sergey lavrov didn't mince words. he looked forward to a creation of a post-west world order. that is a russia-influenced order that stands opposed moat bo both to democratic ideals and free market economies. senator graham and i scheduled these hearings, means and methods russia uses to undermine democratic government. their toolbox includes cultivating politicians through corrupt business deals and then threatening to expose the elicit arrangements. it includes acquiring control over vital economic sectors like energy to threaten and control dependent governments. fake news and social media attacks based on network penetrations and information illegally gathered from them. the declassified intelligence assessment released in january asserts that russia, quote, ordered an influenced campaign
in 2016 aimed at u.s. presidential election. senator graham and i intend to hold public hearings to understand how russia operates, what objectives it is pursuing, how those objectives may threaten our political system and democracy, and how this may, or may not, violate u.s. law. gaps in our laws make us susceptible to many of the tactics we will discuss today. i'm pleased that president ilves is here, that miss conley and dr. buchanan and mr. wainstein shee is here. the kremlin playbook of which miss connie was tley was the pr author is a very significant and telling document and let me welcome ken wainstein back to this committee. we have worked together on many issues. he is a -- was an adversary on some, i will say, but a principled and honorable adversary and i'm delighted to have him back.
>> thank you. we do have a great panel here. his excellence, toomas ilves. he now works for adviser for center for international studies and corporation. i can't say the name, bernard and susan, how do you say it? center for national security and cooperation. at the institute for international studies and as i said the former president of estonia. he'll tell you what it's like to live in estonia when the russians are next door. heather conley is the europe program director, center for strategic and international studies and she wrote the book "the kremlin playbook and we're in it." dr. ben buchanan is a postdoctoral fellow, cyber security project center for science and international affairs at harvard. and mr. wainstein has been introduced.
he was the former adviser to george w. bush, homeland security adviser and former assistant attorney general for national security in the bush administration. welcome, all. we'll start with you, mr. president. >> thank you, honorable mr. chairman, members of the committee. in myremarks, i review the development of tools of disrupting democracies as they've been used. first in part of the world, eastern europe and later in western europe and ultimately elsewhere. to sum up my written testimony, we are under attack. it is an attack against western democracies and on the institutions that bind them. the eu and nato. this attack is at once asymmetrical yet ideologically promiscuo promiscuous. by the latter, i mean an auth authortarian regime supports extreme left and extreme right parties that are both, or on
both sides anti-eu, anti-nato and anti-u.s., and it does what it can to undermine centrist parties and centrist politicians. it is asymmetrical because our democratic institutions, free and fair elections, rule of law, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms especially freedom of press, do not allow us to respond in kind. these tactics, disruption of the internet, hacking into parliaments, political parties and candidates, and more importantly, doxing, or publishing hacked private correspondence and ultimately spreading false stories or fake news represent a new form of aggression. and i say it is aggression. it was said almost 200 years ago, war is the continuation of policy by other means. so why engage in military conflict if you can change democratic governments in order to follow policies you favor?
such as, for example, lifting of sanctions for its occupation and annexation of crimea. if the unity of the european union, sanctions or to stand up to corruption stymies your foreign policy, if nato is willing -- is willing to stand up for the security of easternmost allies, why not foment anti-eu and anti-nato and anti-american sentiment by supporting fringe parties that share that view? we should be concerned. this year we shall see elections of three of the four remaining large eu countries. france and germany and as most observers predict the snap election, italy. the netherlands, a crucial partner in nato and the eu, holds elections today as we speak. i should add that the dutch so fear disruption that they've gone back to paper ballots.
es shoeing even voting machines. hacking, fake stories have been used in these countries to support far left, anti-nato, anti-u.s. party and candidates and against centrist trans-atlantaists most notably mrs. merkel. only in the past several weeks we have seen the foreign minister of canada, freeland, also come under a fake attack. the age of the internet has allowed these practices to flourish, especially disinformation. statistics in europe are not yet out, but buzzfeed here in the u.s. reported them in the last three months leading up to the u.s. election, fake news stories were shared on facebook 8.7 million times surpassing shared mainstream news by 1.4. shares. meanwhile, the pew center reported last summer that 62% of americans get their news from social media. there's no reason to think that
the statistics and oa s in othvd democratic countries that are facing elections should differ from what we have seen in the u.s. and secondly, in conclusion, this -- the utter dilemma we face is these threats from authoritarian regimes are asymmetric. that is to say, we can't do to them what they do to us. authoritarian regimes control the press. they're not afraid of hacks or doxing that would show the corruption of their rulers. people never see that news. fake news, as deplorable as they may be, have no traction there when the press is controlled. and ultimately, it doesn't really matter, anyway, if you count the votes in the end. fake news interference in electoral processes we've observed already a long time ago in eastern europe are new to our nato allies in the west. we used to have to jump hoops to prove fake stories about us were, in fact, fake, but now i
don't want to say, use a german word, but now in some senses, we feel redeemed seeing that now more western countries are facing what we have faced for a quarter century. i'll conclude, if you give me 20 seconds, with a quote from the director of the ministry of defense think tank, ruzie, in london. "we spent 20 years telling the eastern euro europe eastern europens they were par floyd living in the past that they should treat russia as normal country. turns out they're right. to prevent this from becoming an existential rift, keep countries still believing in alliance, nato is going to need to do a lot of clever footwork." thank you very much. >> i'm impressed with how well i understand estonian.
that was excellent. miss connie? >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member and members of the schee, thank you for this opportunity to testify. important we understand russia's strategy of influence, how it work in our democracies and develop a strategy to combat it. it's important we recognize not only the tools russia uses but have to educate americans on how to recognize these deatools and defeat their influence. russia's strategy of influence is contained in russia's doctrine, new generation warfare, of which its primary goal is to break the internal coherence of the enemy system. russian influence works through economic and political channels and adapts to specific national situations including biased news jute l o outlets, intelligence networks, nongovernmental organizations, business linkages and friendly politicians. while all of these tactical elements need to be understood in their own right, we can't
lose sight of their cumulative effect and overarching strategic octoberive and th objective, weakening of u.s. global leadership. the weakening and ultimate collapse of nato in the european union and finally it is about the breakdown of the internal coherence, credibility and moral authority of western democracies. and once this coherence and cohesion is broken, a post-western world can, in fact, be achieved. so let's be clear that russia does not engineer the entire framework in which it conducts its strategy. it takes advantage of pre-existing institutional, political and governance weaknesses and exploits them, so, in fact, we must look to ourselves and our rules and our laws to help defeat russian influence. so csis in cooperation with our bulgarian partner, the center for the study of democracy, focused on how russian economic influence impacts five european
countries. i ask that a copy of the report be submitted for the record. we describe russian tactics as an invirtuous circle of influence. it takes hold of democratic societies through two channels, political and economic influence, the politic influence. the political influence can come through anti-european and fringe parties. it can go through individuals, possibly businessmen who've turned politicians. nongovernmental organizations. it can spread through information wars and even the russian orthodox church. the economic channel is more powerful in some respects. it works through a network of kremlin insiders, former intelligence officers and local oligarchs to manipulate and dominate strategic sectors of a country's economy. and our report looked at how both of these channels, both the political and the economic work together and what we found is that corruption is the key and
prin principle conduit for the impact of influence. the reason they go after those strategic sectors like energy, like finance is that's where there are the big ef opportunitiopportunitest opportunities to exploit and use corruption. what's allowed russia's strategy to be -- is western suspect blt and sometimes complicitness with russia's exploitation and found this over and over where we're not influencing and impacting own transparency laws, beneficial ownership, abuse of funding for political party financing and nongovernmental organizations. it's, in fact, in our power to stop these russian tactics. our report, we recommend the first line of defense is strengthening western institutions and societies. we believe the treasury department will play a critical role in how we combat russian economic influence by tracking
and tracing elicit russian linked financial flows. we encourage strongly a very robust cooperation with the european union in fighting these corrupt practices, strengthening the independent yjudiciary and media and practices of our nato allies. building and strengthening financial transparency requirements and beneficial ownership will go an extraordinary way to prevent these corrupt practices to further russian influence. finally, i'd like to say in our u.s. embassies, we need to start thinking of our legal attaches playing a critical role as our defense attacasttasattashshays. russia's influence. and thus far, we have failed. thank you. >> thaunk you, mr. chairman, mr
ranking member and members of the subcommittee. my academic research at harvard and woodrow wilson international center for scholars is examining how nations use their capabilities for attack and espionage in cyber space and the strategies that drive that usage. it goes without saying that russia is a key player in this regard. i'd like to make three points here to begin the discussion. first, we often think of russian hacking as something that is new and different, but to do so is to be ignorant of history. there's a demonstrated power in russian cyber operations stretching back several decades at this point. one major early case sometimes referred to as moonlight maze involved the serious penetrations for espionage purposes into american political, military and economic institutions. that operation and the operation since then have shown a depthness in several ways. perhaps most significant is they demonstrate how the russians developed new digital methods to accomplish old tasks.
the series of espionage cases show the russian aptitude for gathering information using computer hacking. the 2007 attack on estonia, the 2008 attack on georgia, are an exhibit of how russia uses cyber operations against democratic states. though we know somewhat less about it, the 2015 blackout in ukraine, the first ever publicly known case of a power outage caused by a cyber attack, shows the potency of cyber attacks that appear to be russian in origin. 2016 election interference demonstrates the russians have married their longstanding history of influence operations with more recently developed capacity for hacking. the threat these activities pose to democracies and to their fundamental institutions deserves great scrutiny and often resistance. second, there's a damaging perception that is impossible to understand who is responsible for which activities in cyber space. this is sometimes called the attribution problem.
alongside a professor of kings college london, i spent a year investigating how it's possible to do attribution in cyber space. after technical study and interviews with computer forensic experts in the private sector and multiple intelligence agencies, we concluded not only is accurate attribution possible but advanced nations such as the united states do it regularly. it is possible to do some form of attribution by relying on forensics data such as language indicators, infrastructure indicators, time zone exploit indicators, among many others. for intelligence agencies, human and singles intelligence sources can provide additional vital information on the intentions of another state and can confirm attribution hypotheses. rarely is any single piece of evidence by itself conclusive when it comes to doing attribution in cyber space. hackers do sometimes leave false flags to try to mislead investigators. nonetheless, the united states intelligence community and private sector firms have overcome the attribution problem in many instances in recent years and have developed a strong understanding of how various nations including russia
operate in cyber space. as early as the middle of last summer, the technical evidence strongly indicated that the russians were responsible for the hacking activity against democratic national committee and the related entities. the united states intelligence community report gives me still greater confidence in this assessment. in short, when it comes to many major russian cyber activities, attribution is simply not an issue. third, i'd like to close by taking a broader view. every activity takes place in a strategic context and we would do well to remember that context when we analyze them and consider responses. all strategic ideas such as deterrence do not go away when it comes to this new mode of engagement between nations though they are often at first difficult to translate. many of the russian activities occur, i believe, because russia has developed a capability to act, senses an opportunity to do so and calculates that the benefit to the operation will exceed the costs. in short, we have not yet been able to device deterrence in cyber space that extend to the
kind of activities we are discussing here today. establishing deterrence with our own cyber capabilities has proven challenging. in far because we have not communicated our resolve well. and in part because we are worried about further escalation. the difficult this are important and deserve strategic attention. we must find ways to better defend our vital computer systems, denying adversaries the opportunity to act. develop methods of deterrence. we must communicate those clearly. i am mindful of lessons from history sometimes called the security dilemma, that nations often unintentionally threaten one another as they prefserve their interests. so i believe we must develop a strategy that protects our interests but does not threaten other nations. calibrating a response in this fashion is not an easy task but is a vital one. after what has happened this past year, few issues are more important than this right now. thank you very much.
>> chairman graham, ranking member whitehouse, it's a pleasure to see you again. members of the subcommittee, thank your if the in for invita appear before you today. highlighting what has gotten lost in much of the political controversy since last fall's election. today we're facing an unprecedented and growing threat to democratic institutions around the globe. as my fellow panelists have eloquently testified, this threat is real and has already manifested itself in a number of different countries around the world including in the nations of central and eastern europe, in estonia, in the nation of georgia, and here in the united states where the intelligence community assesses that elements of the russian government directed an influence campaign against our political system in 2016 that involved cyber intrusions in the state and local election board systems, the penetration of the dnc and release of material to influence the campaign, the use of interpr internet trolls to spread
disinformation and launching of a general propaganda campaign to spread their preferred narrative around the world. given the perceived success of these tactics in roiling our election, we should expect to see more of them in future elections. not only from russia but also from other hostile countries like iran and north korea. so the threat is real and it's growing. the next question is how can we respond or how should we respond to the threat? the government has a number of tools at its disposal. first it has all the national security investigative tools like fisa courts, electronic surveillance orders, national security letters. as well as the criminal tools that it can use to detect these influence activities. second, it has the ability to bring a criminal prosecution against the perpetrators under, for instance, the computer fraud and abuse act for hacking into protected computer systems or foreign agent registration act for those who engage in domestic political activities on behalf of a foreign party without registering as foreign agents. criminal prosecution can have a meaningful deterrent effect, as we saw in 2015, when the chinese finally agreed to an
international protocol against cyber theft. only after we had charged five members of the chinese military with stealing american trade secrets. deterrence can also be achieved through the mpolitician of economic and trade sanctions such as when president obama imposed sanctions last december on russia's two leading intelligence services and four russian intelligence officials. deterrence can be achieved through the ejection of a country's official staff from the united states such as when the president ejected 35 suspected russian intelligence operatives and closed two official russian facilities at the same time that he imposed sanctions last december. another option is the enforcele of campaign finance laws to prevent foreign nationals and foreign interests from contributing to u.s. political campaigns. with the recent reports of russian funding for french far-right party presidential candidate, allegedly in part as a reward for her supporting russia's actions in crimecrimea there's heightened concern that russia may make similar attempts to sway american politics with
campaign funding and contributions. finally area of focus is on the protection of the electoral systems, themselves, which is the purpose behind dhs' announcement in january this year that election processes would henceworth be dez forth br critical sectors that received federal assistance and protection. so those are a number of the tools and capabilities being used to meet the threat. in light of recent events, however, we need to think of s ways to strengthen those tools. the first is to give the justice department statutory authority to get injunction of operators like botnets that launch disruptive attacks as we saw russia do in estonia in 2007. >> as authors of the bill, the chairman and i hardly agree. >> i thought you would, sir. giving justice department authorities to compel suspected foreign agents to turn over records to show whether they are
or not in fact working on beafter behalf of foreign interests. third, the government seriously consider the deterrents available under the international law concept of countermeasures which are unlawful actions that a victim nation can lawfully take in order to persuade another country to stop victimizing it. like an example of being a victim nation, hacking back to persuade another country to stop hacking them. while this approach raises a host of difficult questions, i agree with the many commentators to encourage the government to consider such countermeasures as a means -- so to conclude, we have a number of effective tools and capabilities to meet this threat. real question for today, however, whether we have the singleminded focus and will to do so. all too often we as a country have been slow to mobilize in the face of a looming threat. al qaeda in the 1990s and cyber threat in the 2000s. this hearing is an important step in the right direction but it's critical we follow it up with a resolute and decisive
action. the threat is real and is not an overstatement to say that there's a lot at stake, no less than the continuing viability of democratic processes around the world. i want to thank the subcommittee again for holding this hearing and giving me the opportunity to speak about this topic. i look forward to answering any questions you have. >> i note the arrival of senator grassley, would you like to say anything or go first? without objection. since you fund this, we're going to let you do that. >> okay. i have a question of dr. testim accurate attribution -- in other words, it's possible to figure out who was behind an attack? is that true even if a sophisticated country is the attacker as opposed to a terror group or criminal organization as other opportunities? i ask this because i would guess
countries like russia and china, even our own country, have very complex ways of trying to cover their tracks in the cyber world. so help me understand how it's possible to accurately attribute an attack to one of those types of countries. >> thank you, senator. yes, my belief is that it is possible for a nation such as the united states to attribute the activities of another sophisticated actor. this relies on a combination of technical means. for example, one of the strong indications that the russians were behind the breach of the dnc this past summer was the reuse, it appears, of an i.p. address. so essentially an address, a computer between that intrusion and previous intrusion into the german parliament in 2015. so nations have the capacity to look at these technical indicators and private sector firms over the past year have done, in my view, a very good job of bringing those indicators out into public view. it also bears knowing that
nations such as the united states have the capacity to collect intelligence of our own using sources and methods the intelligence community which can be enormously useful in doing attribution and in confirming the intentions or the ultimate responsibility of who ordered a particular cyber activity and that is a set of tools not available to the public sector but enables nations to do better attribution though often attribution behind closed doors. >> i thank you for that opportunity and senator whitehouse and senator graham for your leadership in this. i appreciate it very much. very important that you do this. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for the support you and senator feinstein have given the subcommittee. we really appreciate it. so, mr. president, president ilves, when you were first in office, you took down a statue of who? >> it was -- no, not a statue of putin, but rather a soviet
statue in the center of town that was causing lots of disruption. >> so you removed a soviet-era statue in the center of town and what happened? >> well, we moved it actually to a military cemetery which is more appropriate for a statue of a soldier. well, i mean, all kinds of things happened. there were street protests, but then what we discovered one day was that none of our governments -- well, our major government sites, our online media and our banks were not working. it was initially surprising because no one could understand, but then we realized we were under a ddos, or distributed denial of service, attack, which is usually done, generally done by botnets which are networks of hacked computers. most of the time these are run by criminal organizations and
most the time they send you spam. they send out in all directions but you can redirect them to focus on single servers which overloads them then they basically shut down. and that was where i said that given that there were criminal gangs doing this, then -- and the time was bought that this was a unique form of public/private partnership of which we have seen numerous examples since then and most recently i would say today with the announcement of the attorney general about people involved in hacking for money and for stealing money who are at the same time employees of the fsb. >> is it fair to say that during your time as president of estonia, you were under constant attack in different forms by russia? >> well, it came in waves and i would say that in many ways, it's decreased in the last several years as efforts
directed toward first ukraine and then now as we see in attacks on french, sort of mainstream politicians, attacks on germany, most notably the liza case of last year where there was a fake news story. >> right. >> that, we're kind of -- we're -- they're not -- >> they're moving on. what do you think the consequence would be, and very briefly, if you could, to if the yoo united states decided to forgive and forget what russia did in our election, what kind of consequence would that be for the world at large and what kind of signal would that send to putin? >> well, i believe, sir, it would encourage them to continue because it is precisely the goal of these attacks not only here but right now ongoing elections in -- election campaigns in
europe to put in place governments that would be friendly to russian behavior in ukraine, would stop sanctions, so forth. >> thank you. miss conley, do sanctions work, you believe, when it comes to deterring russia? >> they do have -- >> microphone. >> they do have limited applicability. i think for the u.s. and european sanctions, the penalties on russian long-term access to financial capital beyond 30 days has been important to it, but there has to be a full spectrum of deterrence measures ranging from the military deterrence and the fact that there's a nato battalion deploying to estonia is as important as sending strong messages about anti-corruption, signaling that we will fight the lack of transparency wherever it may be. >> you think it'd be appropriate for congress to impose new sanctions on russia for what they have done in our election?
would that be the right signal to send, in your point of view? >> what i would recommend is that there is a full review of the entire spectrum of u.s. policy responses to russia. meaning we tend to silo our policy responses. we have to look at holistically, we have to look at what the long-term objectives will be for that. sanctions are a powerful tool. they're an important tool. but if you do them just for every issue, whether that's ukraine, the elections, i think you're missing looking at a comprehensive approach. >> mr. buchanan, the problems we see with russia, do other countries have similar capabilities to interfere with us? >> i think it's fair to say that russian capabilities are particularly advanced, but it's also worth noting there are countries such as china that have a long history of developing and using cyber capabilities. not necessarily against elections, per se, but against a range of american targets. >> if we forgave russia for
their interference in our election, i don't believe it changed the outcome, but it definitely interfered, do you think that would be inviting china and iran maybe to come in later? >> certainly i think that a forgive and forget strategy here would risk emboldening a range of countries including but not limited to russia. that would include china as well. >> mr. wainstein, you go back to the bush era. you've been dealing with this, this problem. the trajectory is pretty unnerving. what have you seen when it comes to all things russia and democracy from the time you were in the bush administration to now? would you agree with the concept that whatever we've been doing in the past really hasn't worked enough? >> i would definitely agree with that statement that we haven't done enough, but i would say that you sort of have to look at the historical progression. the russians have been consistent. the russians back to the soviets have been consistent with their approach. in a geopolitical sense, what's bad for the u.s. is good for
russia in their eyes. and so i think what we've seen change over the years is there is now the technological means to intrude and interfere in internal elections processes in ways they couldn't before because of the development of the internet. we now have an ability to do what maybe they didn't have the ability to do back in the cold war. you also have an area of opportunity now. they see possible daylight between us and some of our partners so i think they're methodically looking at that daylight and trying to expand it so they can bring countries back into their sphere of influence and divide our allies. >> senator whitehouse? >> thank you, chairman. miss conley, your testimony focuses really effectively and kind of captures the kremlin handbook report with respect to russia's efforts to infiltrate, corrupt, degrade and discredit democracies and with the last election, we know we've been
added to that list. you described that there are two key channels for that operation. one is a political influence channel a political influence channel with fake news or trolling or using corruption to support those and the second is economic influence. bribery, corruption. money laundering. various wheelering dealers that either buying or puts people in threat of being divulged as having been bought. in your vurks if a country has experienced one of those two technique, how alert should it be to look for the second technique? >> what we found on the economic footprint if in the city countries we analyzed, if russia's economic presence was greater than 12% of a country's
gross domestic product it was more likely that economic means were the high prooi mare channel of influence. if there was a lower presence, political would be the most viable. they had the networks and security networks that were used to affect and in certain country, we cite bulgaria, as an example where both channels were used as such where one led to the other that it led to capture. >> if you have experienced this russian effort through one channel, should you be looking for the same effort on the other channel? is one an indicator to look out because they may be coming on
both? >> one supports the involvement of the other. until they come together and are become all encompasencompassing. >> so, it would be prudent for a country that has sustained an attack to be highly alert and look for signs of how the other channel might have been deployed also. >> absolutely. now, okay, and in terms of investigating, the economic channel, are financial and tax records important in putting together the systems? >> transparency is critical and understanding where those sources of funding come from. they are didsed to be hidden andoh pak f. you look at bulgaria, the country that is the most significant provird of foreign -- >> let me jump in. i love bull garyy, but look at the united states for a minute.
you've talked about the preexisting weaknesses that the russian effort exploits. would wup of those weaknesses include league structures that are not transparent or have lax ownership disclosure requirements? >> companies participate iing i major procurement, it's understand -- >> and understanding beneficial ownership so you can penetrate shell corporations is also important, correct? zwl yes, it is. >> and are you familiar with what the eu has done with respect to beneficial ownership and shell corporations? >> yes, we follow the eu closely. >> they've cleaned that up considerably? >> they're working on an initiative to try to prevent tax havens to open that up. investigative journalism has
done an extraordinary amount. panama papers were illuminating. >> and your report is that we strengthen requirements. >> president, you have the same thing, part of what you recommend is that it's very important to investigate money laundering if you're going to investigate it, you have to have access to financial records, correct? >> absolutely. >> and you have to have, it would help to have access to tax records to understand the financial picture of individuals who might be involved in the matter. >> true. and shell corporations whose true ownership is in determinable, how do they function? are they a hazard or is do you need to be able to lock at beneficial ownership, true ownership of corporations in order to understand the economic manipulations? >> absolutely, because you don't know why something is happening unless you know who is the owner and we've seen these cases across europe.
and not only say the energy field in real estate, but also in the media, where we're not sure who owns a newspaper. >> in your work, you understand economic influence and corruption is a russian tactic here. you say in your testimony, i understand it's important to use your wordses, to acquire relevant records such as financial in order to effectively understand the dang ore of the ak tick of corruption, is that correct? >> absolutely, sir. >> and that it's important to be able to produce business records to see what's going on. ? >> absolutely b b. >> and would tax records be frm of financial and business records useful to investigators as they try to determine the scope of the economic influence
operation? >> sure, tax records are a sensitive topic and there are special rules for prosecutors. from investigative point of view, they're helpful. >> and shell corporations, whose true ownership can't be determined, is that a good thing to have this in world? >> well, there are a lot of eyes at play, but from an investigative perspective, the more you know about the entities that might be doing some wrong doing, the more you know the better. no question. >> and it is you know, from your prosecutorial experience, that often, somebody with maligned purpose will run their operation through not just one shell corporation, but a shell corporation behind the shell corporation behind a shell corporation to hide their hand. many time, you're just not able to.
perpetrator succeeds. >> and if they're a foreign nation trying to hack our o democracy, that's pretty serious. >> thank you. >> mr. president. can you help us understand your view of putin's timeline with regard to ab end game in nato? to what degree do you think the europeans understand what his objectives are with regard to nato? >> the goal is clear that as long as as the eu and nato is united, and has maintained its current membership, then policies of an entity that is much larger, much richer, much more powerful than russia leaves russia in a add a disadvantage.
if you break up nato, then every country except for the united states is going to be smaller than russia. if you break up the eu, then the largest country in the eu with 80 plus million people is germany and compared to russia again, it's small. and then when uyou think of nat with countries like mine, then we're quite minuscule and would be at a disadvantage. now, that's the goal i would argue and has been the goal for a while because if you read even yeltsin era piece, russia does not wish to deal with a european union. it's hard to say what the timeline is, but with your of pressure we see today, put to crucial elections this year
where support is going every time to aept nato and u.s. fringe parties basically, and with success, this is part of the plan and were you to for example, get france to step out of nato and the european union, that would be a death blow or near death blow to both organizations! dupg there's an an acceleration in his ambitiouses from first trying to cause panic and understandable paranoia among smaller near neighbors to striking teeper into europe where it seems like public upsing o f the historic significance of nato is on the way? >> i think he was surprise d by the success they met with the crisis in which they managed to penetrate serious so-called objective news sources where you saw the bbc repeat iing propagaa
lines to balance the report iin from ukraine. so, repeating stories that were purely fake as the kind of balancing side and i think that encouraged them. saying it works. ill really does work. >> thank you. miss connie, i want to ask you some questions, i'd like to say thank you and i'm going to use my extra time. >> absolutely. only for you. >> can you tell us about putin's internal political constraints with regard to the economy? are there shades of gray inside the economy of some of his cronies who are worried about the adventureism and think in industry, x, y or z, this is more dangerous? >> thank you, senator.
the russian economy has stabilized for now. the long-term trajectory is quite dire. it appear it is inner circle of their business interest have remained stable. there is certainly changes cannibalization if you will, of different companies nationalized to maintain benefits. but the economy is under great strain. what we found in our report, interestingly in all of these operations, there was a connection to president putin's inner circle, so enriching and continuing to enrich that small inner circle is very important, but i think there's a myth in some ways that the sapnctions have had a devastating impact on the russian economy, they have hurt them, but they have stabilized. president putin understands he's having to harden. he knows thing rs going to get very rough.
he is stabling the economic situation. he's ready for the long-term and making sure that inner circle, which there have been changes. there's generational changes going on. he's passing leadership from his peers to another generation. he's sculpting them. their further enrichment is very important, but we're seeing impact lack of payment to pensions and teachers. the social welfare system is crumbling. but the inner circle is being maintained. >> how rich is put p? >> i have no idea, sir. >> any of you have estimates? mr. president, you're not usually bashful. >> reports say 100 billion, but who knows, it's a lot. >> just to be clear for the record, this is a guy who's a public sector bureaucrat for most of his life. and we think he might be worth on order f $100 billion. no moment of significant private sector activity where he had a stake in a private equity company or something?
>> but this is a pattern repeated across the board among senior leaders in public service in russia. we have press secretaries with $30,000 swiss watches. >> you know some of the history of the guy? >> i'm p perplexed how a public servant gets $100 billion in his bank. wish i could do that. >> just one parting question. how likely do you think it is that congressal i.t. systems has been infiltrated by russian security services? >> alyssa ewed two factor awe thentification almost certain. dr. buchanan. >> i'd be concerned if you put me in charge tomorrow, i would not spend my first action looking outward.
i would look inward, but that's true of any high priority network. finding intruders inside. >> senator durbin. >> thank you very much for this hearing. i said the other day when we had our meeting with foreign ups, it is refreshing to have this kind of bipart son. president, there was when you were attacks, you said that at the time, this was an attack on nato. because estonia was new to n nato. do you think other nato countries felt it was an attack on them as well? >> thank you. at the time, this did not really get much traction. at the time of course, people had fully understood the nature of cyber attacks and their
debilitating consequences. and just to chemosome things in perspective, the first time the munich security conditiference a panel on cyber. >> yet in 2016, nato declared it a fourth demain of welfare. one of the new russian owned goals was that we had been lobbying for some time. a number of countries came on board, so it has been in operation for some seven years. eight years. initially, i don't think countries understood the full
impact or the power of digital weaponry. closer to the west. polls are showing, people of ukraine as more and more coming out. when i was in poland four weeks ago, one of the leaders there said something i'd like you to comment on. he said we're watching you in the united states. he said, we want to see how you react to the invasion of putin in your presidential election. because it's a cig yal to us of how you would react if your country was invade d by putin. >> i couldn't disagree. that's how lots of people, lot of countries that have felt under threat sort of feel.
they may not say it, but it's a feeling! you made another point, that is the asymmetrical aspect of this. the president closed down rt and sputnik for a period of months because of the outrageous fake news they were peddling into our country. it's a challenge to those speech in press as to whether there would be a government action to stop what putin is trying to achieve through rt. i'd like to know what the panelists think about that. >> if i may, just yesterday, the german government submitted a bill that would lead up to fines of 50 million euros or $53 million for social media spreading fake news.
this is going to be a tough one. between the this on security and our fundamental values freedom of the press and how we navigate this is going to be a tough one in a lot of countries. >> i'd like to ask the panelists if they'd like to respond. >> in some ways, russian tactics are designeded to be below flesh hold. tler they are designed not to design nato to repond in a fulsome way. it's a way to isolate a country. make them deal with bilaterally from russia. the more we can enhance our awareness of what's going on within europe, that helps us understand these tactics and i find our own knowledge and europe and european political dynamics congressional visits like yours are so important. we have to return to europe. much more fully as a foreign and security policy matter. on media, i will just say, it's
a multivector issue. you have fake or false news, which are just wrong stories designed to put pressure on the government, create hysteria. there's the leaks of embarrassing information which is designed to discredit government officials and institutions. the more you discredit leaders an institutions, the more false news is so powerful because you don't know what to believe and third, something that president touched on is ownership of the media. the baltic media market, central media market is becoming russian owned, which makes it more sympathetic to russia's world view and interests. it gets back to beneficial ownership. the messages they're spending. >> i am noticing in some country, i can name a couple, where russian ol garks are movering back and becoming major
political players. i wonder what's happening here with this export of wealth and taking over political operations in some of these countries? we're seeing more and more of that, too. just like to comment on the asymmetrical issue. >> the degree to which these influence operations are enabled by hacking. and it was striking to me that the ic's report in december discussed both of them together and one of the lessons i think was an immediate take away, the political figure is the importance of basic cybersecurity practices, so true factor on e-mails. it's often operations used for a broader influence campaign, so it's vital for everyone on this panel and beyond. >> thanks.
>> thank you. pick up where senator durbin left off. and that is where the cyber attacks. when senator graham and mccain and i were in estonia, which was a beautiful country, thank you, and latvia, lit yan wa and georgia at the enof the year, i was struck by these stories of all of the hacking. just today, two russian spies and then some hackers indicted for hacking into yahoo! with millions of americans as victims. so, what do you see as a best deterrent, the president mentioned the nato located cyber center. what do you think is the best thing to do with these upcoming elections and germany and france? >> thank you, senator, in a cold war context, we would often deter with other nuclear
weapons. it is sometimes difficult to deter a cyber capability with another. one kind will be called cost in position. if they take an vant we don't like, we'll punish the nation. we have to communicate that. we probably could do a better job b of generating cost and position options and communicating those to the russians. the other kind is deperns by denial, so making it not worth the russian time to break in and connect these activities. that's where improving our baseline security defenses and our allies have vitally important. >> mr. president, the fake news been discussed here, my favorite story what you say sheldon and i heard in munich and senator graham as well heard was the
story of the norwegian prime minister, that russia has been running stories that their economy is in the tank in norway and they ran out of the fruits and vegetables and russians would come in to visit with bags of frutds and vegetables because they believed these stories that there were no fruits and vegetables in their country. and obviously, that's an amusing example, but there are so many scary, serious ones and one o the things i was struck by is education is trying to, our public, my state, people believe when they see things are marked as news, they still believe them. this fake news even though they were on the -- i thought a lot of them could see through this.
do you think that's a tool in the tool box we're not using enough to really explain this to the public? >> thank you. it's not just fake news. there are all kinds of bad. our country, especially the baltic country, taken reagan, there you go again. approach to this. because we become fundamentally enured. we don't believe it anymore. and what has changed is that befo before, you u don't believe it anymore. >> miss conway, i read the whole playbook, it was really well done. one of the things you talk about is a lack of transparency and campaign finance and how money could be funneled in and we have
huge problems here with dark money and hurricanes of millions and $800 million i think spent outside money that's not tracked. if you could do it in about a minute and a half. >> of course, transparency is absolutely vital. not only for political party financing, it's also becoming important for how funds are being spent for we call them the timpfken organizations. these organizations appearing overnight advocating for a position that may be in russia's interest. how different experts are funded. that transparency is vital, so absolutely, the more trans parn sir the better. >> so, that would be an argument to try to figure out where this money is. from to try to put money into elections in these other countries. >> it is designed to be opaque and complex. >> acquired running with the --
>> okay. mr. wane steen. one of the things you talk about in your testimony is that how our country relies on state and local election processes and that we must product our own election infrastructure to guard against the types of threats like those we experienced last november. i am the ranking member and one of the -- do or agencies need tools to fight against our cyber networks and what should we be doing to help our state and local governments protected that we can? >> that's a good question. the question of pregnaotecting e
an local, that's a tough nut to crack. there's no uniformity there. that doesn't mean there's not a place for the federal government. in fact, as i mentioned, the dhs recently designated the infrastructure as part of the critical infrastructure. and really provide information sharing. one of the saving graces is that the vote tallying systems are not online sochlt in materials of the ability to penetrate those systems adjust the tallies, that seems like it's a lesser threat than what we did last year.
to get the election officials together, thinking about the threats and make them apair. >> graham, white house, grateful to both for convening this hearing. js want to express my thanks for your compelling testimony today. zpl i would like several hour, i, too, have traveled. fr one of the last days in estonia and also, to visit with leaders in the czech republic in the ukraine and saw and heard many of the same things.
in august, ranking member white house and i given some of the developments in late july, sent a message to -- expressing our grave concern. to consider whether our existing federal statutes sufficiently addressed conduct to foreign entities. chairman cruised declined to conduct the hearing. i can't help but wonder if he might have gotten an early start. it's critical our investigation into this, our consideration and confrontation of russia's threats to our democratic
institutions be clear eyed and bipartisan. i want to thank senator graham for leading the act, which would make sure congress has a chance to weigh in before there's a decision or act by the -- i'm proud to be a cosponsor. two weeks ago, republican senator rubio joined me on the floor to speak in a bipartisan way about the threat of russian aggression. there's a lot more we need to know and it depends on this inquiry with interference in other elections so, if i might fir first, in your prepared remarks, you need the advantages that a small highly number of motivated individuals can leverage against nation states. you note we possess our own. can you discuss what you think our strongest advantages in combatting russian infiltration and how we can utilize?
>> well, looking at how much certain figures enjoy being in miami or london or paris that is a symmetrical advantage that the west has. recall that senator mccain was barred from entering russia causing huge mirth among people. that is clearly one thing we have they don't. if we don't have a rule of law, then you can basically, you can all the have your bank account empty. visiting the west and parking your money here, i find it out, but typical that one of the
leading proponents of the adoption ban on for children has a huge multiple dollar condo complex in miami. while the one hand, decries the united states and the west at same time, they enjoy the full benefits of it. there was a recent coup attempt, where they were going to assassinate the prime minister. what we saw in 1948, that's still there. >> do you think our campaign
finance laws are sufficient by foreign actors, a line of senator klobuchar, just wanted follow up with you. your jurisdiction over cyber, it's a challenge for us in the senate. cyber challenges don't respect borders. they also don't respect committee jurisdiction and we have literally half of the committees of the senate have some jurisdiction over cyber. >> there are a few fights to get involved with. one on the hill. the principle is an important one. this is an enforcement matter within the executive branch as well. where do the responsibilities
for cyber lie. with dhs, doj, dod and nsa. it's difficult because it spans over many areas. it's difficult in terms congressional juris duction. it affects so many aspect of governance. diplomacy. the economy. law enforcement, national security. so, it's something that i think requires some study, swrus like for instance the oversight of the department of homeland security. to prevent appropriate influence. something that many european countries have seen. attempts successful attempts by russia the influence elections with dark money. >> as you know, there are series first amendment concerns that need to be addressed there. legal issues that need to be worked through.
it's a concern of campaign, as we've heard, the russians are very sophisticated and going to the to where the o pasty is and acting there. so i'm sure we see that, too. >> miss connolly, if i might, just a quick question. it appears as you said, that russia views cyber as a way to stay below the flethreshold of . how can we change our approach to offer analysis and more anybody bly respond to their on going cyber? >> this gets into the area of looking at those financial tools. something about sprenting russias access. that's how strongly they view
the importance of the access to the u.s. financial system, which is why i think you're seeing many of the russian funds that are safely ensconced in democracies, to protect their fund ng a rule of law situation. we have to begin assigning a cost. if they want to use the benefit of our society and institution, they must play by those rules and we may have to revent some of the access in order to have them return to that rules based approach. thipgs like that. visa limitation is another important area. there has to be some cost. >> senator leahy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i apologize for coming in late and having to go back out. it's good to see you again. how important is it for our
country's leadership and political parties being united in pushing back against russian interference in our elections? >> how important is it for both parties to do that? >> i think that highlights the importance of this hearing. i don't think it's a political issue. it's not a democratic issue. reasoni reasoning, just like reason oin on cyber theft isn't going to do it. that's the only way they're going to listen to us. it's critically important. also important to some other countries that know or at least
see the implications of russia doing that in their countries. >> those countries want to see our being unifieunifieded. i pronounced that correctly? elvis. sorry. would you agree it's extremely important, that all of us, whether in public office, to be very, very honest in speaking about what is happening? in this regard? and that we have accurate reporting in the press about it.
what about you? >> absolutely. yet, the problem is that not everyone quite understands the nature of these things and so, must not only be accurate, but informed. when it comes to something nor mechanism tall, you get a lot of sheer nonsense by people who don't understand the technical side of the issues. it's both returnporting and qua. >> your questions are very much linked. bipartisan is key. if we do not transparency, if we don't have honesty, we can't rebuild trust in our leaders and institutions. in some ways, that's what's being exploited.
that's what's critical. we have to rebuild that trust. >> agree with that? >> absolutely. i defer on the best method to do that, but i was hardened by the comments earlier about the value of a public discussion. >> if we allow the divisions to continue, we don't respond to it, is it oversaying that this plays into russia's interests?
>> in fact, the president's comment about what has occurred in montenegro is the boldest thing we have seen, which means they are taking their views and cues that they have much weakness to exploit. and until they are pushes back 24e8 continue to exploit that. >> you agree? >> absolutely. here, it's not only since i can't really comment on american domestic politics, go ahead. we all do. >> up to now, we have had regional based security because the countries are in the north atlantic and everything is based on bomber range and tight lodgistics. today, there are no distances,
so they're liberal democracies under threat. be estonia, the united states, maybe next time, japan. distance doesn't matter chrks means that liberal democracies do need to hang together, especially when we see as dr. buchanan mentioned, apt 28, which attacked the dnc server, was also found in the german and it was found in estonia. the threats affect all of us. >> so, you don't think this is a one time operation. >> i think we'd agree nato is important if there's unity, but there has to be within nato,
stands strongly with it. is that correct? >> yes. >> and does this, if they see the united states being able to be, does that sew doubts in nato? >> well, i don't think we believe that the united states is being manipulated by russia. >> but if we reached the point we did? >> i guess we'd be pretty nervous. >> y'all agree with that? >> do you think this operation of russia was a one time operation or do you think we might this this in the future? >> absolutely. they're going to be em bold ped by the extent of which they had.
whether it asked the -- had an affect op the course of the election. it's caused a lot of disruption. they're going to come back even stronger next time, perfect their techniques in other coup tris like north korea, rairan, china are going to do the same. >> europe's election calendar this year beginning today with the dutch elections, german election, we are going to see the continued incubation of this process, which encourage, we must have have a strong dialogue to understand both tactics and strategies to combat them. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. appreciate it. i appreciate the courtesy. >> yes, senator leahy. i want to let you know that the french election i believe is in the april run off, would be in may, is that correct? >> first round, april 23rd. second round, may 7th. >> it's important the congress
take some kind of action on our bipartisan legislation to punish russia and germany is in september, is that -- >> september 23rd. 4th. >> finally, to senator franken. i view an attack on one party in the united states an attack on all parties by a foreign entity. we need an article 5 response here. senator franken. >> i can't tell you how much i appreciate that response, mr. chairman and i can't tell you how much i appreciate you and the rapging member calling this hearing. i want to express my appreciate to chairman grassley. as well. what i'm hearing here is that our response to this as a congress as united states, our
response to this attack by the russians is really important that if we allow this to have happened and don't respond to it, it will invite just more and more of this. and that's why this hearing is so important. i would commend every american read the kremlin play book. i know something about selling books and i'll help you. what the kremlin did here. >> and the book is free.
>> i wouldn't want to get involved. i'm a free market guy. get this book, americans, because it tells you how it works. people begin to, you're talking about things being opaque. this happens when their web of influence is so complex that it obscures activities. that's what you're saying. you're talking, you talked about how important bipartisan ship was and how important it is,
when you're attacking the crede bability of the media and you're spreading fake news and you have trolls from russia and we have to understand, there are is 1-000 trolls operating and so, they were changing the al gor it ims on google so if you google something, you would get what the russians wanted you to see. it would be the first article to come up. people need to read and understand this. what we don't need, what we don't need is people accusing the media of spreading fake news. we need the american public to not get so thrown off that they
say, well, there is no such thing as the real news. and so, they have strategy of doing that in order to exploit that confusion. in this, in your book, we talk about them coopting or compromising in individualing in business and financial dealings, am i right? >> yes. >> okay and corrupting them or being vold, they may already been corrupt. may be a shady character. and corrupting someone who has political ambitions, say. >> yes, that is a met. and it's important to have
transparency in terms of people's financial dealings. in terms of like seeing their taxes like the ranking member was talking about. >> it's vital to have as much transparency at the law allows to understand what forces are influencing political parties. politically political leaders. that's why it's important there be transparency in our campaign finance laws. because right now, we have this very dark money that's in there where no one knows where it's coming from. and that is something that tells people, this is all rigged. everything's rigged. i don't believe anything. i think it's one of the things
we need to have transparency in all of, everything now in our politics. and this is something that is absolutely pernicious and because it undermines the trust people have and rightly so. in our political process. mr. buchanan, you note that the russian interference in our 2016 election demonstrate that is the russians have married influence operations with their hacking capabilities. can you talk b about how you view, the russians have married these two strategies? leveraging diplomatic or economic or military capabilities. how do their, how does this work? >> the russians have a long
history of operations in trying shape the debate and sometimes, the government in foreign country, this goes back well before computers were invented. what's significant about 2016 is they have infuseded those tactics with information stolen through cyber espionage, through hacking systems, stealing data and using that data as part of the influence campaign. so this has enabled them to do more with their technique from an old tactic in the playbook by relying on digital methods to inform it. >> i'm out of time. the book is the kremlin playbook, available for free for every american. >> thank you. senator blumenthal. >> thank you for holding this hearing. senator graham and senator whitehouse and i want to join my colleagues in thanking really
the bipartisan spirit of this hearing. this which is to counter and dete an act of war and i am not saying that for the first time. in fact n the armed services committee, we held a hearing on scyber attacks conducted agains this country. calling a dirnt set of witnesses, but reefing the same conclusion that we lack a president, a coherent strategy for deterring and countering these acts of war. just as we would if we were attacked. as a new generation war fair and
we have to take it just as we would warfare, not just as a criminal enterprise. the indictment today of a couple of russian agents. i begin with two points. number one, criminal prosecution alone is insufficient. number two, the lack of o a policy as to when we declare war contributes to the lack of deterrents and let me ask you to comment. >> thank you, senator. the challenge as you said is
this a construct as part of welfare. this is part of official russian doctrine by the russian general staff. it is a strategy to break our internal coherence. we have to treat this as serious sli as we would a declaration of war. i want to pick up a point that dr. buchanan made. back oth at bugs to your cyber question. it's easier, but the policy choices are so much harder. we have to strengthen our own societial responses, so part of that is educating, making people aware of when news is false and when it is true. the policy choices and delays of
choices, i don't understand these multifaceted responses, whether it's cyber, economic influence, that's what challenge is, so the more we are clear and concise and open about what our response will be if an act is taken, will go a long way to prevent this type of influence. >> and you mention in your testimony, the potential for complexi complexity. to what extent is that a dang you are or phenomenon? the need to investigate. >> in our report, we angel ice five year countriecountries. we found neither europe nor the united states is immune. through means of using a business through a legal transaction. it translates, it can so contort
a particular domination of a sector that it has such influence and begins to change the nature of the act itself. >> in this country, as well as others. we are not immune to these tactics. their prevalence is much greater because the linlgages are so much stronger. and you mentioned that the russian doctrine of attack is in a sense and it is i agree with you, military doctrine. but it works through nonmilitary actors. but no less trace bable. "the new york times" reporting earlier this week on and i am going to mangle this name, but
borgechev, the hacker who is in a sense, protected and rewarded by russian authorities. for commit l mass theft and so there's a $3 million reward available for him. but russian production evidently has an hended our efforts. >> we often find again in these complex economic penetrations, there's a reward and rewards system, meaning to protect the economic gains and to continue to reward them as time goes on, so, yes, there is certainly an element of wanting to protect very sometimes lucrative economic ties through criminalalty or other means and then there's a sense that if discovered, they can also help destroy or erode the crede ba e bability of the country of which they were working in because
they were able to work their trade crafts so well. >> well, gained access that allowed them not only to -- but to steal personal files such as business proposals and photographs, so the impact is not only on our democratic institutions, our financial and economic system and multiply that effect as in yahoo! to the tune of $500 million. and taking what one military expert has described as the greatest theft of intellect yul property in history of the world and also military leaders of our country, almost within anonymity, taking cyber as the
greatest threat. i think this nation needs to be aware that we are under attack. and we are engaged in a war. perhaps undeclared. but it is a war. war directed against our democracy and our economy on a scale that would have been unimaginable a few years ago and still is unimaginable to most americans. would you agree? thank you. >> thank you. we're coming to the end here but i think the senator has a question. >> thank you. i want to ask two fairly specific questions before we left. the first is for mr. buchanan. could you just say a word about who gucifer2.0 is and how confident you think we can be about the attribution of him or her as a russian hacker? >> thank you, senator. after the dnc hack was revealed
in the "washington post" last june and by a service security firm called crowd strike, a persona appeared on line called gucifer 2.0 within 24 hours. this persona claimed he himself had done the hacking and it had nothing to do with russia. it seems fair to say that the story unravelled or the story unravelled as the summer went on. initially he claimed to be a romanian hacker. some journalists tried to speak to him in romanian and he was unable to respond without using google translate. there are elements of the story that immediately didn't add up and additional forensic investigation have indicated this persona is probably not what he claims to be. we do have solid evidence in the dnc case more broadly of russian
involvement in particular, two groups called apt28 and apt29. >> the resistance are good but not always good. sometimes they fumble their romanian. >> confident to do attribution, sir. >> you referenced in your testimony the foreign agent registration act. either now or a question for the record, could you let us know how we could make that fit into our defense toolbox more effectively against the russian election manipulation toolbox that has been the subject of this hearing? >> certainly. it's very simple. the law on the books says we can prosecute people who are unregistered foreign agents. but we don't have an ability, at least an effective ability once we identify a suspected unregistered foreign agent to
compel that person to provide records to show whether he is in fact working for a foreign entity or not. that's it. there's a thing called the civil investigative demand that would be -- used in a number of different areas in government investigations which would be directly applicable here. twice, it's been proposed in the '90s it be added to farah. it never made it into law. given the events of last year there should be more momentum to bring that back up. that would help a lot because you would have meaningful investigations on the front end leading to grand jury investigations and prosecution and deterrence and more transparency. >> thank you. thank you chairman, very much. >> thank you. we'll wrap up now to the panel. you really helped congress a lot here, i think. the senate understands the nature of the challenge and some responses we could take. my main takeaway if you forgive and forget russia you will regret it. they will only get worse.
mr. buchanan said other count countries could do the same, maybe not the same level but we want to defer not just russia but other countries like iran and china with a checkered past. here has the state of play. march 8th, wrote a letter to the department of justice, please provide us to any evidence of a warrant that was issued against the trump campaign by any court anywhere or whether or not a warrant was even applied for. we have yet to get a response to our letter. we were told by the fbi today there may be a classified bri briefing about the contents of this letter. all i am suggesting we're to the point now as a nation where the current president has accused the former president of surve surveilling his campaign and i'd like to inform the american people whether or not there is any validity to that. i don't want to compromise sources and methods but i do
believe it's fair to have the government tell us was a warrant issued? i don't think that's going to compromise sources and met methods. to my house colleagues and intel committees i'm impressed how you're working together. i think the senate intelligence committee is working together very well. they seemed to indicate today the house ranking member chairman there was no evidence of wiretapping. i talked about it and danced around it. with all due respect i appreciate your bipartisan there, the letter we wrote wasn't to the house intel committee. the letter we wrote was to the department of justice and the fbi. for the good of the country, thick we need a response from the department of justice, from the fbi so we can move on. finally, about a criminal investigation. director of national intelligence, the former director, mr. chopper, said during his time he saw no evidence of collaboration between the trump campaign and the russians, and he didn't
believe a warrant was issued. if one had been, that he would have known about it. all i am saying, i'd like to get to the bottom of this one way or the other. if there is an investigation covering time periods mr. cl clapper was not in charge of or something new came up, i just want to know about it so we do not run afoul of it. we're not trying to impede an investigation, we're trying to make sure that one can go forward without congress getting in the way. the next hearing will be how to protect an investigation from political influence if there is one. i imagine most americans would like to know the state of play of what's going on in our country. the white house and myself and the subcommittee the idea we should provide you more than we've provided. senator grassley the chairman and feinstein the working member have been very supportive of the subcommittee's efforts and there will be another hearing soon how
to protect an investigation and before we have one we will tell you if there's one to protect. if there's not one to protect maybe we will change what we look at and how we go forward. from my point of view, russia is out to get us all. they want to divide us in a foundation so their influence grows at our expense. i believe if we don't act against russia in the united states they will be more aggressive in france and germany. i believe they have 2s and we have a full house. putin is a thug and bully. russia is a country in the hands of a man who has his self-interests ahead of everybody else's in russia. i regret the russian people are having to live through this. they think he's strong and tough. here's what i think. i think he's stolen you blind. i don't know what the russian president makes.
either he's the best investor in the history of mankind or stealing money if he has entrepreneanyone near 40, fif506$5060 million an people that descent -- and because of nato, it is very much under siege now. as to the ukraine, the first time since world war ii one nation has by proxy for us taken the territory claimed by another. if you don't think this matters to america, you're making a big mistake if you're out there anywhere in our country. the ukrainians gave up 1200 nuclear weapons they owned. the budapest accords with the understanding they give up their nuclear arsenal and turned it over to russia their sovereignty would be protected in perpetuity and russia would not interfere. we signed that agreement for the
support if you give up your nuclear weapons we'll protect you. this is a very big deal. this subcommittee will go wherever the evidence takes it and for the american people this is worthy of our time. to the witness, you have done more than i can ever thank you in terms of informing us what we face as a nation. stay tuned. hearing's adjourned.