White House blocks statement blaming Russia for SolarWinds attack

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Following findings that Russia is most likely behind the SolarWinds cyber espionage campaign within the U.S. government, White House officials draft a statement to formally accuse the Kremlin.

Someone within the White House stops the statement from reaching the public.

White House officials had drafted a statement assigning blame to Russia for the attack and were preparing to release it Friday afternoon but were told to stand down, according to people familiar with the plans. Officials initially weren’t told why the statement was pulled back.

The statement, the people said, placed blame on Russia for orchestrating the attack but left open the possibility that other actors were involved.

The people familiar told CNN on Saturday it wasn’t clear whether the statement will be released, and instead described a scramble inside the administration as officials work to reconcile the competing statements from Trump and Pompeo.




Photo: Diego Cambiaso

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