Despite numerous reports and alarm from people on both sides of the aisle, President-elect Donald Trump has shown little-to-no concern about Russia’s interference in the U.S. election. However, his senior advisor, former CIA director Jim Woolsey, feels that Trump will have a different response to the recent news of a Russian operation hacking into the system of a Vermont electric company.
While speaking to CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux, Woolsey said that the Vermont hacking “looks very troubling” to him. He went on to explain exactly what it is that troubles him:
‘I’ve been studying and working on this issue for 10 or 12 years now. I don’t think the same kind of questioning is going to come up because of the nature of the hardware or software that they have found. That is extremely dangerous. The Russians have hacked successfully into Ukraine’s electric grid and Georgia’s electric grid. This is some of the same software and hardware that they used in those hackings.’
‘The grid isn’t just a matter of convenience. It’s a front on which one can conduct asymmetric warfare and the Russians like that and they are doing it. That means if you take down the electricity part of the infrastructure, you have taken down a lot of the rest, too, water purification, food deliveries and so on. This is a very big deal and ought to be treated as such.’
Malveaux responded to Woolsey by asking if he thought that Donald Trump would take this hacking “more seriously than the hacking of the election?”
Woolsey said that he believes Trump will respond differently because this hacking is “a different issue.” He elaborated:
‘It is a different issue than what we were facing back with respect to the Republicans and Democrats and getting emails and so forth. This is a world class problem with respect to the grid.’
Woolsey went on to call the hack a “wake up call” and implored those in power to “treat it as such, not as a political issue.”
Malveaux then questioned whether Woolsey would make his message clear to Donald Trump. Woolsey answered by saying that he would tell anyone who asked for his opinion that he believes that “this is an extremely dangerous and difficult situation.”
Woolsey also worked in a jab at President Obama at this point, saying that he “has given zero leadership on this issue for the last eight years” and that this is an issue for the president to deal with.
Woolsey closed this portion of the interview by talking about legislation that could prevent situations like the one in Vermont from happening again. He explained that, so far, only one bill regarding this issue has passed and encouraged further action by Congress. One bill “makes a start,” he said, “but it’s not nearly enough.”
Watch the full interview between Woolsey and Malveaux below, via YouTube.
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.