tv Representative Adam Schiff Discusses Russian Election- Year Hacking CSPAN January 25, 2017 12:44pm-1:05pm EST
rewards. we'll keep you posted on any changes to that situation. also today in washington, intelligence committee chair -- ranking member rather, adam schiff and former national security officials discussed russian hacking in the u.s. elections. --resentative shift atresentative schiff spoke the center for american action fund this morning. allo want to thank you for -- thank you all for coming today. i will be brief since we 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 20 congressional district in los angeles county. , amongntative schiff
other things come is the ranking democrat on the house select committee on intelligence and he is the leader on all intelligence issues and has been particularly outspoken and thoughtful on the issue of russian interference in the recent u.s. presidential election. after the congressman gives some opening remarks, he has agreed to participate in a panel discussion other participants in the panel include brand beers, who has had a distinguished career in public service, including active secretary of the department of homeland security and at the white house, working with people like lisa monaco and clarke. dick clark. managing director of the can global strategies and was an excellent chief of staff
early on panetta, one of the best persons i have worked for come at the cia and dod. he is also a very good guy. julie smith will also produce a bit on the panel. she worked at the pentagon for vice president biden. she now works with the jeremy at a new american security. she is also one of the smartest people in town on europe and russia. finally, when i started studying the soviet union, detente was a focus. it moved from detente to perestroika and glasnost. we went from the bill to boris ara to peering into putin's eyes to reset enter today. from an old buffalo springfield song signs it up. there is something happening here what it is eight exactly clear.
schiff, maybe you can clarify for us. [applause] representative schiff: it's a pleasure to join you today. and my appreciation for the center for meche in progress and the invitation to come and speak with you today. i look forward to our panel. there is a lot to talk about. what i thought i would focus my brief remarks on is the convergence of two trends in the world, the trend affecting russia and its place in the world, and the worldview of vladimir putin, as well as the trend of increasing potency of cyber as a weapon. come intose trends uniquely pernicious combination last november, which will bring us to the heart of the topic today. let me start up by talking about russia.
when i was introduced to a russian oligarch in los angeles and made the observation that it was a shame that med did you --e -- that med you to have that the relationship between russia and the united states could have indifferent. putin had a chip on his shoulder and that any thing that was of united states interest against russia's interests. there were a number of common interests. dismissive.as very medvedev had the job of a pillow
carrier, to smother him in his sleep a fee ever did something didn't like. i imagine if i had someone following me around with a pillow carrier, i would not sleep very well. think putin's worldview was sharpened after the mass protest in 2011, that we have heard a lot about played a because they formidable role in his antipathy against secretary clinton. an important chapter in modern the gravestory, concern for vladimir putin's long jeopardy of his regime. and the biggest threat that he saw were these mass protests, called revolutions. that theussians think entire arab spring were inventions of the cia. when i meet with the cia, i
always congratulate them on their omnipotence to be able to produce these world changing events. they have far greater capabilities than i am aware of. but nonetheless, this is apparently the russian perspective on things. i used to describe, even as recently as a year ago, the threat emanating from russia as a form of creeping authoritarianism coming from the kremlin. i will no longer seats creeping. i think we are not in a new cold war, but we are in a highly consequential war of ideas now, not between communism and capitalism, but between authoritarianism and democracy and representative government. and we see that obviously vividly in the russian propagation of its model, in its desire to tear down the democracies in europe, to to their best to tear down democracies and what of the
interference in our election is to design discord in the united states. this is a hugely important battle of ideas. and sadly come in this battle of ideas, you see autocracy on the march. ec countries in europe that are becoming increasingly autocratic, increasingly nationalist -- uc countries in europe that are becoming increasingly autocratic, increasingly nationalistic. i think the weakening of europe, the brexit, all of these factors i think are greatly endangering the future of democracy. i think this is going to be the struggle of our time. let me talk briefly about the other trend. that is the explosion of the potency of cyber.
many countries have had a desire to blur the distinctions between different kind of cyber activity. there is obviously cyber for the purpose of theft, of intellectual property, a problem that we've had with many countries, but probably among the foremost china for many years. you have cyber for the purposes of the gathering of foreign intelligence, which all nations that have a cyber capability engage in. you have what was a very recently in our own elections cyber for the purposes of affecting political outcomes, meddling in the internal affairs of another country. inhave seen this from russia europe in the past. this was the first investor brazen example of cyber being utilized in those means here in the united states. ciber, tragically, i think for
the united states, is a wonderfully asymmetric weapon. it is easy and cheap to go on offense. it is phenomenally difficult and expensive to go on defense. they just need to find an opening. one of the list rations i love to give is target, would target was hacked. the hackers got into target through the air-conditioning system. in the internet of things, you are only as secure as your least vulnerable port of entry. in their case, it was air-conditioning. in the equivalent of a jewel heist, where the thief uses the air-conditioning not come other thieves were able to go through the hvac system and migrated to the financial data and then all of a sudden target had a huge problem on its hands. this is cheap to do. it can be done remotely. it can be done always with some level of deniability.
and in the context of a nationstate actor who is doing damage to the united states, 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 attribution or deciding that it can't do so without giving up important sources and methods and making the decision not to attribute conduct. this gets me to the point i would like to conclude on. president is doing deep damage to himself and to our country. and he is doing this in many ways. hiss doing it in willingness to make up facts as he goes along and we are in the midst of the most recent flareup of the invented facts, the invention that millions of illegal immigrants voted. why is this significant and what does this have to do with russia and national security and anything else? there will come a time when the
president needs to be believed by the country. there will, a time when a president needs to make a case for what intelligence agencies make -- tell him, without revealing what our sources are. and if a person cannot be believed by his own people, let alone our allies, if the president has so impugned the credibility of intelligence professionals who are providing the best insights in the world, what hope does he have a persuading his own country, let alone our allies, to make common cause to deal with a threat? .his is a norma's problem -- this is an enormous problem. the september, senator feinstein and i decided to go public with the attribution of russia in the hacking before the president was willing to. we were lobbying the administration to make attribution. was that the administration didn't need to reveal sources and methods. but it did need to make
attribution. certainly, whenever that is the case, you're going to have people in the public and people and the press saying where's your proof? but it's going to be very much in our national interest at times for the administration to make attributions and not do so -- and not discuss sources and methods. russians aree reverse engineering in that open source report to try to figure out how do we know what we know. is very important that the president have the confidence of the public to be able to come before the american people and say that either the iranians are cheating, if they are cheating, or the north koreans are advancing on their miniaturization of a nuclear warhead to fit on an icbm or whatever the case may be that warrants action. it's one to be important that that president have credibility. i think there is no one who is doing more to undermine his own
credibility and legitimacy than this president is doing himself. the final coda on this, which we can talk about during the panel, revisiting the creation of black sites or going back to waterboarding or enhanced interrogation techniques, the consideration of a ban on says toion or v mustache or visas to the muslims as to muslims is a colossal mistake. these are people that we depend on in the war on terrorism. i think it would be a tragic mistake for the country to revisit this and make the same mistakes all over again. note, i willistic conclude and i look forward to our discussion. thank you very much. [applause]
>> morning, everybody. thank you for being here. thank you, bill, for the kind introduction of the congressmen and me and all our distinguished panelists. i run the national secured a program here. i am grateful to all of our panelists for joining us today. there is a lot going on in the news. i'm grateful for all of you for taking the time to be here and talk about what might he one of the most important issues we have faced as a country. i will bounce around the panel a little bit and come back here and try to save some time for questions. i think we will have a bunch of them at the end. you,ld like to start with jeremy, as the former chief of staff over at the pentagon and the cia.
one of the things we saw this week, maybe an attempt by the president to bridge a divide by going to langley and talking to cia staff. that didn't necessarily play out the way we would have expected or liked. it was sort of questionable whether it had the desire to impact your what is the locations -- two impact. what is the applications of the antagonism between the president and his premier intelligence agency and what does that sort of mean for us having the intelligence we need is a country? oni was at the agency december 30, 2009, a day that we've sent about a dozen of our best officers out to a post in eastern afghanistan to conduct a counterterrorism operation, an operation that would tragically wrong when the assets that the
officers were supposed to meet detonated suicide vests. on that day, he killed the darren, hurled, jennifer, liz, scott, dave, and an officer named jeremy. those seven cia officers memorid on the memorial wall in the lobby of the original headquarters at langley along with 100 other members of the agency who lost their lives in service to our country. jarring,rticular disturbing, and upsetting to a number of intelligence professionals i've spoken to to see the president presentation there on saturday. as i think about it, there are four areas where i think this important relationship between the president and his intelligence community is going to come to tension and potentially conflict. the first is, as the congressman noted, on the assessment of russia. the intelligence community has been very clear about the threats posed i russia and that is fundamentally not an
assessment shared by the president and his team. second, on counterterrorism, the president said on saturday that essentially be invented isis and that we should've taken their oil and we may have a second chance to take their oil. when you combine that with some of the other misguided counterterrorism policies he has announced, such as a hiring freeze for the intelligence community for tsa, customs and border control, and other people who keep our country safe, and you combine that with going back to waterboarding and black sites, misguided policies that will not prevent terrorist attacks in our country, you see an inevitable collision between the president and professional intelligence assessments. it will make the job of our intelligence officers harder. third, in an era of alternative facts, what does an intelligence officer do?
and intelligence officers credo as emblazoned in the lobby of the original headquarters is from john -- he shall know the truth and the truth shall set ye free. knowntelligence officers they have to speak truth to power to their own superiors and bosses, even when it's in a comfortable truth, but also to allies and adversaries about what america stands for. when you start with the premise of alternative facts, made up facts, lies, it undermines the whole premise of intelligence. intelligence is designed to put parameters around policy, to make sure that policy is guided by facts. every national security council meeting begins with a factual predicate of an intelligence picture. if we throw that out the window, we are destined to make very poor policy. finally, i do think that there is also something very important in the president's worldview. during his inaugural address, he talked about america first.
fundamentally the intelligence officers i know our globalist in their outlook. they actually believe that america's security depends on our interdependence with other countries. much of the work that our intelligence professionals do is working with other countries to keep us safe. these are people, many of whom live overseas, they like serving overseas. they are more like state department professionals than almost anyone else in our government. they raise their children overseas and they believe and know and understand that you have to be involved in the world. if we just pull up the drawbridge and retreat and have a nativist, nationalist approach to our security, it won't work. for all those reasons, i think we are potentially and for more stormy weather ahead. mr. singh: i think i'm going to go to you rand. firstemy's points, the
being long-standing intelligence community assessment that russia has engaged in aggressive cyber activities in the united states. obviously, the election is getting all the attention, but rand is both acting assistant secretary. what you do now focusing on cyber threats, what is the spectrum affec of threats we fa? what should americans be worried about and other aspects of our day-to-day lives and other aspects of security from cyber at large and particularly russia? sec. beers: i would start with a very simple declarative statement. russia is the greatest threat to the united states in cyberspace in the world today and we have known this for some time. election -- at the you can watch this online. search russian hacking at c-span o.org.