The White House has asked the CIA to plan for a potential cyber strike on Russia, according to NBC News.
Unnamed intelligence officials told NBC News that the Obama administration has requested a range of possible options for such an attack, with the goal of humiliating the Russian government in response to its alleged meddling in the U.S. election.
The report is consistent with comments by Vice President Joe Biden on NBC’s “Meet The Press with Chuck Todd” on Friday. “We’re sending a message” to Russian President Vladimir Putin and “it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact,” Biden said on the show.
Russia vehemently condemned the NBC report and Biden’s remarks, which it called “unprecedented” threats from the U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have officially accused the Russian government of orchestrating a hack of the Democratic National Committee in an effort to influence the presidential election in November. Russia has also denied any involvement in the DNC email hacks.
The campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also alleges that the Russian government is responsible for a more recent hack of campaign chairman John Podesta’s e-mails.
Top House Democrats called on the FBI on Friday to investigate the presidential campaign of GOP nominee Donald Trump for possible involvement in the breach.