Romney says Trump has a “blind spot” in Russia, calls Hack “extraordinarily dangerous” by Reuters

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© Reuters. US Senator Romney walks through the US Capitol in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US Republican Senator Mitt Romney said a widespread data breach across the US administration was “extremely damaging” and that President Donald Trump had a “blind spot” on Russia that US officials believe that he was behind the hack.

“We realize that the president has a blind spot on Russia,” Romney said on NBC’s Meet the Press, one of a series of television interviews on Sunday morning.

US officials and researchers believe at least half a dozen US government agencies have been infiltrated and thousands uncovered in one of the biggest hacks of its kind ever uncovered.

Trump didn’t confirm the hacking until Saturday, almost a week after Reuters first reported it, by downplaying its importance and questioning whether the Russians were to blame.

Revelations of the hack come at a vulnerable time as the U.S. government grapples with a controversial presidential transition and the coronavirus health crisis.

US Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on ABC that the hack was still going on and that officials had not yet decided on its full scope. But he stopped short of the aggressive language of Romney, who called the hack “an invasion”.

“This is in that gray area between espionage and an attack,” said Warner. Nonetheless, he supported Romney’s call for retaliation, saying Washington must make it clear to opponents that “if you take these types of action, we and others will strike back.”

President-elect Joe Biden’s team, a Democrat, will consider various options to punish Russia for its alleged role once he takes office, from financial sanctions to cyberattacks on Russian infrastructure, say those on the matter trusted people.

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