Following Friday’s accusation by US “intelligence services” that Russia was behind the hacking of US political organizations – which took place just minutes before the first Wikileaks data dump of John Podesta emails – even though the US government did not directly accuse Putin of being the party responsible, today curious journalists demanded more information from White House spokesman Josh Earnest after Monday’s holiday.
What he told them is that, according to Reuters, Barack Obama will consider a variety of responses to Russia’s hacking of political party organizations and it is possible that any action may not be announced publicly, the White House said on Tuesday.
“There are a range of responses that are available to the president and he will consider a response that is proportional,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Air Force One. “It is certainly possible that the president can choose response options that we never announce,” he said.
In other words, the US very well could – and will – do nothing, especially if as the lack of public evidence indicates, the Russian government, which has laughed the whole thing off, was not in any way responsible.
Meanwhile, over in the UK, ministers have been banned from wearing Apple Watches during Cabinet meetings amid concerns they could be used by Russian spies as listening devices. According to the Telegraph, Theresa May’s government has barred the watch over concerns its microphone could be hacked by spies who would be able to listen in to high-level policy discussions.
“The Russians are trying to hack everything,” one source told the newspaper.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova took a humorous approach to the latest McCarthyian witch hunt.
“Apple Watch, easy. It is strange that the Daily Telegraph do not know that ‘Russian secret agents’ can hack Breguet even better,” she wrote on Facebook according to RT, referring to a Swiss manufacturer of luxury watches.
Under former Prime Minister David Cameron, several cabinet ministers wore the watches, including Justice Secretary Michael Gove. Gove reportedly interrupted one meeting by inadvertently playing a Beyonce song. Sarah Vine, his wife, said he had been “surreptitiously checking his emails,” but pressed the wrong button when a message came through.
“So the cabinet was treated to the first few bars of a song from Beyonce,” she said. Mobile phones have previously been barred from the Cabinet because of similar concerns.
The Apple Watch has also been banned from Australian cabinet meetings.