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NSA: Trump’s Lukewarm Russia Response Will Embolden Putin

President Trump’s lack of enthusiasm for retaliation against Russia means that the Putin administration’s interference in the 2016 US election is likely to be repeated going forward, according to the NSA.

Mike Rogers, who heads up the spy agency and Cyber Command, was grilled by the Senate Armed Services Committee on what the US had done to counter the election infrastructure probing and hacking/leaking of sensitive Democratic Party officials’ emails ahead of the November 2016 ballot.

“They haven’t paid a price, at least, that has significantly changed their behavior,” Rogers argued. “I haven’t been granted any additional authorities…I need a policy decision that indicates there is specific direction to do that. The President ultimately would make this decision in accordance with a recommendation from the secretary of defense.”

The Trump administration has come under fire for not implementing the sanctions voted for by Congress last August following unanimous intelligence verdicts that Russia meddled in the race for the White House.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has also filed charges against 13 Russians and three organizations for conducting an “information warfare” campaign against the US in a bid to get Trump elected.

However, the President’s lukewarm response to the allegations — during which he has continually tried to shift blame onto the previous administration — is bad news for America, according to Rogers.

"I believe that President Putin has clearly come to the conclusion there’s little price to pay here, and that therefore I can continue this activity,” he told the committee.

"Everything, both as the director of NSA and what I see on the Cyber Command side, leads me to believe that if we don’t change the dynamic here, this is going to continue and 2016 won’t be viewed as something isolated.”

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