White House spokesperson Josh Earnest pauses while speaking during a press briefing at the White House July 15, 2016 in Washington, DC. (photo by AFP)
The United States vows to give a “proportional response” to hacking by Russia in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest made the announcement to reporters traveling with President Barack Obama on Air Force One on Tuesday.
"We obviously will ensure that our response is proportional," said the press secretary. "It is unlikely that our response would be announced in advance.”
Russian authorities have time and again denied Moscow has been behind breaches, targeting the November 8 election process.
Earnest further boasted about US capabilities to launch cyber offensives against other countries.
"The president has talked before about the significant capabilities that the US government has to both defend our systems in the United States but also carry out offensive operations in other countries," he said.
US President Barack Obama votes early at the Cook County Office Building in Chicago, Illinois, October 7, 2016. (photo by AFP)
Last Friday, the administration of President Barack Obama issued a statement formally accusing Kremlin of attempts to "interfere" with the US vote.
Based on the statement, the country’s spy organizations are “confident that the Russian government directed the recent compromises of emails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations."
US Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton claims she is a victim of such hackings, after some of her emails were leaked by the WikiLeaks.
Such releases are "consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” according to the statement.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) speaks as Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens during the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. (photo by AFP)
During a debate with GOP nominee Donald Trump on Sunday, Clinton suggested on several occasions that Russia seeks the presidency of Trump by launching such attacks against her campaign.
In late July, the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks released thousands of hacked DNC emails, which revealed an insider effort in the party to undermine Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ bid for the White House.
Following the leak, mounting pressure on the Democratic National Committee for its unfair treatment of Sanders forced Debbie Wasserman Schultz to step down from her position as the organization’s chair.