On Tuesday, ABC News’ White House correspondent Jonathan Karl went toe-to-toe with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest over the odd disparity in the way the Obama administration reacted to the Russia and China “hacks” of our government. While the government has yet to prove that Russia has hacked our systems, they chose to respond by expelling 35 diplomats, but when they proved that China had been hacking our systems FOR YEARS, the administration did NOTHING.
Watch Earnest squirm as he grapples with answering what should be an easy question.
Jon Karl: So when the Chinese hacked OPM in 2015, 21+ million current and former government employees and contractors had their personal data stolen by the Chinese. Why did the White House do nothing publicly in reaction to that hack? Which in some ways, was even more widespread than what we saw here from the Russians?
Josh Earnest: These are two cyber incidents that are malicious in nature but materially different.
Jon Karl: 20 million people had their personal data taken… fingerprints, social security numbers, background checks. This was a far-reaching act–
Josh Earnest: I’m not downplaying the significance of it, I’m just saying that it is different than seeking to interfere int he conduct of a U.S. national election. I can’t speak to the steps that have been taken by the United States in response to that Chinese malicious cyber activity–
Jon Karl: But nothing was announced. There was not a single step announced by the White House. ‘
Josh Earnest: It is true that there was no public announcement about our response, but I can’t speak to what response may have been initiated in private.
Jon Karl: But no diplomats expelled, no compounds shut down, no sanctions imposed, correct? You don’t do that stuff secretly.
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