Widespread paralysis in the Obama administration prevented the U.S. from developing an effective response to combat Russian hacking in the 2016 election, according to a new, bipartisan report from the Senate Intelligence Committee.
…The response to the digital assault was also “tempered … over concerns about appearing to act politically on behalf of one candidate, undermining public confidence in the election, and provoking additional Russian actions,” the panel found.
…“After discovering the existence, if not the full scope, of Russia’s election interference efforts in late-2016, the Obama Administration struggled to determine the appropriate response,” Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said in a statement. “Frozen by ‘paralysis of analysis,’ hamstrung by constraints both real and perceived, Obama officials debated courses of action without truly taking one.”
…Other elements that marred the White House response included a muddled interagency process which grappled with issues such as how to deal with WikiLeaks — the anti-secrecy group that published materials from the Democratic National Committee hack in 2016 and has since been dubbed by U.S. intelligence officials as a tool for Russian operatives.
…The committee also emphasized that in case of future attacks, the public should be notified “as soon as possible with a clear and succinct statement of the threat.”