— CNN (@CNN) January 12, 2017
During his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday, Donald Trump’s choice for CIA director, Congressman Mike Pompeo, said there is “sound” evidence proving Russia hacked the U.S. in an attempt to influence the election. Pompeo’s declaration comes after Trump finally admitted Russia had something to do with election hacking but still downplayed its significance.
Trump has been largely skeptical of Russian’s involvement with the election, despite evidence and sanctions stating otherwise. During his first presidential press conference on Wednesday, he finally admitted Russia hacked the election and basically slapped them on the wrist, saying they won’t do it again.
And now his appointee, Pompeo, seemed to communicate no doubt as to Russia’s culpability. During his opening remarks to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (earlier this month), Pompeo said Russia and China were “sophisticated adversaries” in the world of cyber terror and described “aggressive action”:
“With respect to this report in particular, it’s pretty clear about what took place here, about Russian involvement in efforts to hack information and to have an impact on American democracy. This was an aggressive action taken by senior leadership inside of Russia … everything I’ve seen suggests to me that the report [detailing Russian activities] has an analytic product that is sound.”
Pompeo didn’t stop there, for he criticized Russia and some of their actions including invading Ukraine. He said that he will not take threats lightly and will provide lawmakers with “accurate, timely, robust and clear-eyed analysis of Russian activities.”
The confirmation hearings this week have offered a glimpse of the Trump White House, with many taking a hard stance on Russia and the potential threat they pose. It’s a stark contrast from Trump who seems to want to put the issue on the back burner.