Sen. Mitt Romney: Trump has a ‘blind spot’ when it comes to Russia

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Sen. Mitt Romney said Sunday that Russia “acted with impunity” in the massive cyberattack on federal government systems but President Trump has a “blind spot” when it comes to Russia, who U.S. officials are pointing to as the likely culprit.

“This demands a response and the response you’d expect to occur would be a cyber response,” Mr. Romney. Utah Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t know if we have the capacity to do that in a way that would be of the same scale or even greater scale than what Russia has applied to us, but this is something we have to address as soon as possible.”

He said Russia “acted with impunity.”

“They didn’t fear what we would be able to do from a cyber capacity,” he said. “They didn’t think that our defense systems were particularly adequate.”

Mr. Romney said people have come to recognize that Mr. Trump has a “blind spot” when it comes to Russia.

On Saturday, the president downplayed the threat and said China might have been the source.

Those comments came a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said officials could say “pretty clearly” that Russia was involved.

Russia has denied involvement.

“The people who really understand how our systems work and how computers work and software and so forth, the thousands upon thousands at the CIA and the NSA and the Department of Defense, have determined that this came from Russia,” Mr. Romney said.

He said that Mr. Trump’s recognizing Russia as a problem and a bad actor might reflect poorly on the president, “at least perhaps in his own mind.”

“I made fun of Hillary Clinton saying that we would have a reset with Russia,” Mr. Romney said. “We’ve got the same problem in this administration, which is we’ve not been serious enough at the very top about how damaging an adversary Russia can be.”

 

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