Cummings Issues Statement on Intelligence Community Assessment on North Korean Cyber Attack

Dec 18, 2017
Press Release

Cummings Issues Statement on

Intelligence Community Assessment on

North Korean Cyber Attack


Calls on President Trump to Demonstrate Same Sense of

Urgency on IC Assessment of Russian Interference


Washington, D.C. (Dec. 18, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement in response to news that the Intelligence Community assessed that North Korea engaged in the “WannaCry” cyberattack in May of 2017:

“I commend the men and women of our Intelligence Community for their strong work in following the evidence and putting forth their assessment of these events, and I urge our international partners to fulfill their responsibilities under the sanctions regimes that are now in place.  I look forward to hearing additional details in classified session in the coming days.”

Cummings also commented on the elaborate White House media rollout of this intelligence assessment, including op-eds written in advance and a press conference to be held at the White House tomorrow, particularly given President Trump’s widespread attacks against the Intelligence Community’s assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election:

“President Trump is handling the intelligence assessments regarding North Korea and Russia completely differently, staging an elaborate media roll-out to press on sanctions against North Korea while at the same time discrediting the assessment by these very same intelligence agencies that the Kremlin interfered with our election.  Why isn’t President Trump taking these same steps in response to Russia?  Where are the op-eds pressing for action?  Where is the White House press conference with the President demanding sanctions against Russia?”

The U.K. government concluded that North Korea was behind the cyber attack in October, when Security Minister Ben Wallace stated:  “North Korea was the state we believe was involved in this worldwide attack on our systems.”

President Trump has repeatedly attacked the Intelligence Community for its assessment that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election in 2016:

  •          Oct. 9, 2016:  “Maybe there is no hacking.  But they always blame Russia.  And the reason they blame Russia because they think they’re trying to tarnish me with Russia.”
  •          Dec. 15, 2016:  “If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act?  Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?”
  •          Jan. 3, 2017:  “The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case.  Very strange!”
  •          Jan. 11, 2017:  “I do have to say that—and I must say that I want to thank a lot of the news organizations here today because they looked at that nonsense that was released by maybe the intelligence agencies?  Who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they in fact did that.  A tremendous blot, because a thing like that should have never been written, it should never have been had and it should certainly never been released.”
  •          Feb. 15, 2017:  “This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.”
  •          Feb. 15, 2017:  “The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy.  Very un-American!”
  •          July 6, 2017:  

“Reporter:  Mr. President, can you once and for all, yes or no, definitively say that Russia interfered in the 2016 election?

Trump:  Well, I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries.  Could have been a lot of people interfered. … [Barack Obama] did nothing about it.  The reason is, he thought Hillary was going to win.  If he thought I was going to win, he would have plenty about it.  So that’s the real question—why did he do nothing from August all the way to November 8th?  His people said he choked.  I don’t think he choked.

Reporter:  You again said you “think” it was Russia.  Your intelligence agencies have been far more definitive.  They say it was Russia.  Why won’t you agree with them and say it was?

Trump:  I agree, I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries, and I see nothing wrong with that statement.  Nobody really knows for sure.  I remember when I was sitting back listening about Iraq.  Weapons of mass destruction.  How everybody was 100 percent sure that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.  Guess what—that led to one big mess.  They were wrong.

Reporter:  Did Russia’s attempts to meddle in US elections come up in the conversations?

Trump:  He said he didn’t meddle, he said he didn’t meddle.  I asked him again.  You can only ask so many times.

Reporter:  Today?

Trump:  I just asked him again.  He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election, he did not do what they are saying he did.

Reporter:  Do you believe him?

Trump:  Well, look, I can’t stand there and argue with him, I would rather have him get out of Syria, I would rather get to work with him on the Ukraine rather than arguing about whether or not ... that whole thing was set up by the Democrats.  Look at Podesta, look at all the things that they have done with the phony dossier.  Those are the big events.  But Putin said he did not do what they said he did. …

Reporter:  On election meddling, did you ask him the question?

Trump:  Every time he sees me he says I didn’t do that and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. 

115th Congress