CIA chief: US shouldn't stoop to Russian hacking 'skullduggery'

Russia cyber war sebastian pkg_00003524
Russia cyber war sebastian pkg_00003524

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Story highlights

  • CIA Director John Brennan warned against hitting back at Russia for its attempts to covertly influence the 2016 election
  • Brennan has been a strong proponent of the intelligence community's case against Russia

(CNN)CIA director John Brennan cautioned against retaliating in kind against Russia for its attempts to covertly influence the 2016 election, saying, "I don't think we should resort to some of the tactics and techniques that our adversaries employ against us."

"I think we need to remember what we're fighting for," Brennan said in an interview with NPR released Friday. "We're fighting for our country, our democracy, our way of life, and to engage. And the skullduggery that some of our opponents and adversaries engage in, I think is beneath this country's greatness."
Brennan has been forceful proponent of the intelligence community's conviction that the Russian government directed hacking operations to influence and disrupt the 2016 US elections.
The CIA chief told his workforce in an internal message earlier this month that the CIA, Director of National Intelligence and FBI are on the same page regarding Russian hacking. It was in part a response to anger and frustration in the agency at doubts and charges -- many from GOP lawmakers and President-elect Donald Trump -- that the CIA was somehow politicizing intelligence and analysis regarding Russian hacking.
"Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," he wrote in the message.
Speaking to NPR, Brennan also discussed the ongoing crisis in Aleppo, Syria. He expressed a mix of frustration and regret over the lack of progress.
"I think we always like to say that we wish that we would have been able to make a difference, in a way that would have prevented the slide and the situation there," he said. "Aleppo's fall, to me is not a sign that there is going to be an end this conflict because I am convinced that many, many of those oppositionists, the ones who are trying to reclaim their country for their families for their neighbors, for their children, will continue to fight."