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Biden Orders Sweeping Assessment of Russian Hacking, Even While Renewing Nuclear Treaty

Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, who will become the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Mr. Biden was ordering a broad new intelligence assessment on Russia, and, in particular, a better understanding of the SolarWinds hacking.

“SolarWinds is one of the most sophisticated and deep hacks we’ve faced, and the president needs the best information he can get to not only lead the remediation of the penetration, but to understand how to prevent it in the future, and what actions might deter Russia going forward,” Mr. Warner said.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that Mr. Biden needed the “very best assessment our intelligence agencies can produce” on the hacking, on Russian interference in the election and on any bounties they have offered on American troops.

“If we hope to be successful in thwarting future threats to our national security from Russia,” Mr. Schiff said, “we must examine Putin’s malign conduct with objectivity and our eyes wide open.”

The new White House order to the intelligence community should not require a huge reworking of the analysis produced by the C.I.A. and other agencies over the past four years, according to some people familiar with the matter.

Under the Trump administration, there was a relatively high bar for sending intelligence reports on Russia to the White House, given the hostility and skepticism with which Mr. Trump viewed them. The new order is a clear message that the Biden administration wants the intelligence community to share with the White House a broad selection of its information on Moscow.

On Thursday, shortly after being sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris, Ms. Haines attended the daily intelligence briefing for Mr. Biden, an official said. In a statement, Ms. Haines pledged to “never hesitate to speak truth to power and to deliver intelligence driven by facts, not politics.”

Source : New York Times

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