The outgoing head of the NSA, Michael Rogers, says the Trump administration has not directed him to try to counter Russian election meddling. This is Rogers answering questions by Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed.
Sen. Jack Reed: “The mission teams, particularly at the origin of these attacks, have the authority to do so.”
Adm. Michael Rogers: “If granted the authority, and I don’t have the day-to-day authority to do that. If granted the authority.”
Sen. Jack Reed: “So you would need, basically, to be directed by the president through the secretary of defense.”
Adm. Michael Rogers: “Yes, sir, as I—in fact, I mentioned that in my statement.”
Sen. Jack Reed: “Have you been directed to do so, given the strategic threat that faces the United States and the significant consequences you recognize already?”
Adm. Michael Rogers: “No, I have not.”
That was NSA head Michael Rogers, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to questions about NSA head Michael Rogers’ statement.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “I disagree with the premise of your question. It’s not just one individual. It’s looking at a number of different ways.”
Jonathan Karl: “But why not give him the authority, though? He’s in charge of Cyber Command. Why not give him the authority?”
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “Nobody is denying him the authority. We’re looking at a number of different ways.”