Former UN Ambassador John Bolton suggested Sunday afternoon that the hack into the DNC may have been a “false flag operation,” rather than an attempt by the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election, because highly skilled Russian hackers wouldn’t leave fingerprints.
Bolton was on Fox News to address the alleged Russian hacking of DNC computers to influence the election.
“Many say Russian influence and the invasion of our election system on behalf of Donald Trump … as has been alleged, would be an outrageous invasion of our country, of our sovereignty, a deeply offensive threat to our national security, and the very tenets of this republic,” said host Eric Shawn. “So what should we do?”
Bolton, who is on Trump’s short list for secretary of state, first pointed out that the facts of the case seem to be in dispute.”According to the media as recently as this morning, the FBI has one view, the CIA may have a different view, and obviously, out here in the public, we have no idea what the underlying facts are,” he said.
But he added that if indeed Russia did try to influence our election, then it “is a direct assault on our Constitution and there should be grave consequences.”
Asked by Shawn what the United States should do, Bolton said, “We have to know the facts here, and it’s not at all clear to me — just viewing this from the outside — that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false flag operation. Let’s remember what FBI Director James Comey said dealing with Hillary’s homebrew server. He said we found no direct evidence of foreign intelligence service penetration. But given the nature of this, we didn’t expect to. Meaning a really sophisticated foreign intelligence service would not leave any cyber fingerprints. And yet people say they did leave cyber fingerprints in the hacks regarding our election. So the question that has to be asked is, ‘why did the Russians run their smart intelligence service against Hillary’s server, but their dumb intelligence services against the election?'”
Shawn was taken aback. “Your saying a false flag — that’s a very serious charge,” he exclaimed. “Are you actually accusing someone here in this administration — or in the intelligence community — of trying to throw something?”
“We just don’t know,” Bolton answered. “But I believe intelligence has been politicized in the Obama administration to a very significant degree.”
Shawn pressed the former ambassador. “Would intelligence officials politicize this — to go so far to something that could potentially damage the very issue of our republic — what we for 200 plus years have stood for?” he asked.
Bolton replied, “Now I think the whole thing is called into question, which is why the notion of some kind of independent investigation becomes extremely important.”
“If you think the Russians did this, then why did they leave fingerprints?” he continued.
Shawn suggested that perhaps the CIA uses more sophisticated methods for investigating potential hacks than the FBI.
“Let’s hear that debate,” Bolton replied. He reiterated his point that if it were determined to be true that the Russians did try to influence the election, the United States should retaliate “either in the cyber world, or elsewhere.” He added, “It is unacceptable for the American Constitution to be assaulted by foreigners in that way. So it is absolutely critical as well that we get the facts right and I don’t think we have anywhere enough in the public domain to know what the facts are.”
Shawn asked Bolton what he thought about the review President Obama had ordered to take place before January 20th.
Bolton said that the one thing that makes him very nervous is Barack Obama saying “let’s have this report before the 20th of January so that I can wrap it up.” He added, “I think the burden, for well or ill, is going to fall on Mike Pompeo, who’s been named as President-elect Trump’s CIA director.”