Media Framing: Watch CBS Host Try to Pressure FireEye CEO into Blaming ‘Russia’ For the Cyberattack
Margaret Brennan, host of CBS's Face the Nation, interviewed the cybersecurity expert who discovered the ongoing cyberattack where she appeared to pressure him into blaming it on Russia.
Margaret Brennan, host of CBS’s Face the Nation, interviewed the cybersecurity expert who discovered the ongoing cyberattack where she appeared to pressure him into blaming it on Russia.
Nation States and large corporations have been scrambling to secure their network infrastructure following the most severe cyberattack in history was uncovered last week.
The CEO of FireEye, Kevin Mandia who heads the cybersecurity firm which discovered the cyberattack, was a guest on Face the Nation Sunday where he discussed the current effort to assess and remediate the cyber-threat.
During the interview, host Margaret Brennan appeared to frame her statements in a way that would compel Mandia into blaming Russia on the cyber-threat.
The host prefaced her questions by stating that the, “Secretary of state said it’s Russia. A Republican senator who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee said it’s increasingly clear this was Russian intelligence.’” She continued by asking, “Do you agree that this was Russia, and what evidence do you base that on?“
Mandia dodged the question, instead explaining that, although activity of the hack is traceable back to October 2019, that they’ve had no definitive evidence to work with and have just now started to assess the problem.
Brennan then interrupted to prod him further, again asserting Russia as the only option in her question, “But you know better than anyone that there are only a very few number of nation states capable of what you are describing in terms of skill. Russian intelligence specifically the SVR, has repeatedly been pointed to by officials. Is that who you believe did this?“
However, Mandia avoided being cornered, instead saying:
“I think this is an attack very consistent with that, I also believe this: We’re going to get attribution right. The amount of resources inside the government, inside the private sector and the reach that we have, we can speculate it or we can do some more work and put a neon sign on the building of the folks that did this. And I’m very confident as we continue the investigation, as it gets broader, as more people learn the tools, tactics and procedures of this attack, we’re going to bring it back and we’re going to get attribution. Not ninety-two percent right, not consistent with, but a hundred percent. Let’s just get it right so that we can proportionately respond, period.“
The host also appeared to downplay President Donald Trump’s assertion Saturday that China remains a suspect, “Right. And it may take time to do that. But, I press you on attribution because, obviously, if– if you want to stop it from happening again you actually have to identify who did it in the first place. And the President kind of muddied those waters yesterday when he said it may be China, the media’s overplaying it downplayed the idea it was Russia.“
Trump had tweeted on Saturday: “The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality. I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control. Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!).”
Blame of the attack was immediately directed at Russia. The mainstream media targeted the Kremlin as the prime suspect within just an hour of the story breaking last Sunday. However, there has been no evidence put forward, simply speculation that Putin’s regime is assumed to have the capability of executing a hack of this magnitude. This is exactly what Brennon had done in the interview.
The only legitimate allegation made by a government official came on Friday when the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and now current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a radio podcast that “we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity.”
Although major news outlets are touting that Russia is responsible with the same fervency they had in the “collusion” scandal following the 2016 election, some conservative corners have been eyeing China as a potential culprit. China does appear to be a better suspect than Russia, dramatically outpacing the Kremlin in nearly all aspects including technologically, economically, influentially, and they have an observably greater desire to exert control over the American Government. Do not forget that China is America’s most influential competitor having global economic growth that is outpacing our own, and if the trend continues, is poised to overtake the U.S. to become the world’s largest economy within a decade.
There is also burgeoning evidence that the CCP has maintained an active physical presence within positions of power in the U.S. government and corporations around the world. Certainly, the Peoples Republic of China should be a prime suspect.
Meanwhile, our former CIA director is pointing his finger at the Kremlin, our lawmakers are calling for Russian reprisals, and the mainstream media is actively pushing the same assertions with scant evidence.
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