Things That Matter

Former FBI Director Alleges That Trump Diverted Cyber Security Funds to Pay For His Border Wall

GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images

Former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi is making some bold claims about what caused the unprecedented breach in the U.S. government’s cyber security by Russia–an attack that experts are calling the worst ever in the country’s history.

According to the former deputy director for counterintelligence, the reason the U.S.’s cyber security defenses were unable to defend against the attack is because the department’s budget was under-funded.

Figliuzzi claims that President Trump diverted billions of dollars from the cyber security budget in order to fund his border wall.

Figliuzzi made the claims in an appearance on MSNBC where he was being interviewed about the cyber attack.

“The Russians found that weakness and exploited it and we’re still learning the extent of the damage and Natasha reported that hour now our nuclear components have been impacted and one of the words that jumped out there the reporting is damaged,” Figliuzzi stated.

He continued: “We have a president diverting money, billions of it, to build a wall, changing personnel at the top of the Pentagon and we’ve not heard word one about the plan or strategy to respond to this ongoing attack.”

Figliuzzi then made the call for the Trump administration to take accountability for its failings.

“It’s just like 9/11,” he said. “We’re going to need congressional oversight to figure out what in Heaven’s name has happened, who is in charge, where did the failures occur and we need oversight and coordination like never before.”

As background, on Thursday, Politico reported that “hackers accessed [the Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration’s] networks as part of an extensive espionage operation that has affected at least half a dozen federal agencies”. The attack is especially worrisome because these two agencies maintain the US nuclear weapons stockpile.

Indeed, in January The New York Times did report that Trump was attempting to divert billions of dollars from the Defense Department’s budget in order to fund his wall.

While the report stated that the funds would be extracted mostly from the construction and the counterdrug budgets, it is possible (if not probably) that Trump would have taken money from the cyber security budget as well.

According to the Times, the Trump administration had already diverted billions of dollars from the Pentagon’s budget in 2019 in order to fund his border wall.

As of now, President Trump is still downplaying the gravity of the attack.

On Saturday, he tweeted out that the cyber attack is “far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality” and everything is “well under control.”

He went on to make some wildly unfounded claims that it was China that was behind the cyber attack.

“Lamestream [media] is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!),” he wrote. “There could also have been a hit on our ridiculous voting machines during the election, which is now obvious that I won big, making it an even more corrupted embarrassment for the USA.”

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