Russian President Vladimir Putin is “absolutely” testing President Joe Biden through the ransomware attacks that have hit first the Colonial Pipeline and now JBS, the second-largest producer of beef, pork and chicken in the U.S., Rep. Michael McCaul said Wednesday.
“You cannot somehow dissect Vladimir Putin from the criminal organizations of Russia that carry out these ransomware attacks,” the Texas Republican said on Fox News’ “America’s Report.” “It is all interrelated with Russia. Perhaps [they] didn’t get direct approval, but certainly approval.”
It is also a “very naive perspective of how Russia operates and who Putin really is” to say that the Russian president is unaware of the cyber attacks and does not benefit from them, and Biden must be “very forceful with him,” McCaul said.
“This will be the third ransomware attack in the last couple of weeks,” he said, adding that “consequences” must come as a result.
Biden will meet with Putin on June 16, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki, when asked if the topic of the attacks will come up, responded that “we will not take options off the table.”
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