Lawmakers criticise Trump’s refusal to blame Russia for hack

WASHINGTON: US lawmakers on Sunday criticised President Donald Trump's unwillingness to point the finger at Russia, which has been widely blamed for a huge cyber hack.

The comments - from Republican as well as Democratic lawmakers - came after Mr Trump one day earlier downplayed the attack and undercut the assessment by his own administration that Moscow was to blame.

"Russia acts with impunity," Republican Senator Mitt Romney told CNN's State Of The Union. Calling it "extraordinarily dangerous", he said it will "have to be met with a very strong response".

Mr Romney spoke after Mr Trump, in his first public comments on the attack, tweeted on Saturday: "Russia Russia Russia is the priority chant when anything happens."

He suggested China "may" also be involved.

Mr Romney said: "The President has a blind spot when it comes to Russia."

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner said Mr Trump "is not making our country safer" with such comments.

US government agencies were among those hit, but the hackers also hit targets worldwide with the list of victims still emerging.

"Those who are responsible are going to face consequences for it," said President-elect Joe Biden's incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, vowing that Mr Biden would act to "degrade the capacity" of such criminals. - AFP