President Joe Biden pledged to take a hard-line stance against Russia, but in the wake of recent cyberattacks against U.S. businesses, his resolve appears to have crumbled.
During a recent press conference, the president offered a less-than-assuring reaction to the spate of ransomware attacks widely believed to have ties directly to Russia, The Daily Wire reported.
Biden responded on Thursday to one reporter, who asked: “Mr. President on the latest ransomware attack, can you tell us if you believe that rises to the level of U.S. retaliation?”
WATCH: Joe Biden AGAIN reads directly off his notes to answer question on the latest Russian cyberattack. pic.twitter.com/BLgtzfmD01
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 6, 2021
“I can tell you a couple things,” Biden began, as The Daily Wire reported. “I received an update from my national security team this morning.”
After citing reports that the attacks “caused minimal damage” to the impacted businesses, Biden promised to investigate further and provide additional information at a later time.
He appeared to read directly from prepared notes during his remarks, but in the middle of one sentence, he drifted off and walked away from the microphone without completing his thought.
“We’re not sure yet”
Frustratingly, it was not the first time in recent days when the president was caught delivering a lackluster answer to a question about Russian cybercrime.
During a stop at a farmer’s market in Michigan, a woman asked about “the most recent hack by the Russians,” prompting Biden to cut her off before she finished her question.
“We’re not sure it’s the Russians,” he claimed, according to Breitbart. “I got a brief while I was on the plane. That’s why I was late getting off the plane. I got a brief. I’ll be in better shape to talk to you about it, hang on a second.”
The president retrieved notes from his jacket pocket and struggled through a monologue on the matter, asserting: “The idea that, first of all, we’re not sure who it is, for certain, number one, and what I did, I directed the full resources of the government to assist in our response if we determine…and the fact is that the director of the intelligence community gave me a deep dive on what’s happened and I’ll know better tomorrow, and if it is either with the knowledge of, and/or a consequence of Russia, then I told Putin we will respond.”
As for why he had not yet taken the matter up with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden said that the “initial thinking was that it was not the Russian government, but we’re not sure yet.”