NSA chief: No order to disrupt Russian threats

A top intelligence official says President Donald Trump has not ordered the U.S. Cyber Command to disrupt Russian cyber threats where they originate.

Asked by Democratic Sen. Jack Reed if he has been directed by the President, through the defense secretary, to confront Russian cyber operators at the source, US Cyber Command chief Adm. Mike Rogers said "no I have not" but noted that he has tried to work within the authority he maintains as a commander.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders pushed back against Rogers' testimony Tuesday, telling reporters that she disagrees with the idea that he needed more authority. She added that Rogers is not the only official tasked with confronting Russia.

"Nobody is denying him the authority" to take action, Sanders said.

"We are focused on looking at a variety of different ways, as I told you last week, Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen met with a number of state, local and federal officials on all the ways we can best prevent things. ... We are looking at a number of different options," she added.

Sanders went on to blame the Obama administration and say that Trump has been harder on Russia than Obama was, now a familiar talking point.
"I can tell you that we are taking a number of steps to prevent this," Sanders said, adding that details would be shared in "coming weeks and months."

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