Vice President Joe Biden dismissed suggestions that the White House has failed to respond to Russian meddling in the U.S. election, saying Vladimir Putin will get the message.
In an interview excerpt released Friday, Biden paused and gave a wry smile when asked why the US has not acted a week after US officials formally accused the Russian government Friday of trying to interfere with the 2016 White House race.
"We're sending a message," Biden said, smiling and nodding his head gently.
"We have the capacity to do it and the message will be sent. He'll know it and it will be at the time of our choosing and under the circumstances that have the greatest impact."
Asked whether the public will know, Biden responded tersely: "I hope not."
Officials have in the past said any cyber attacks on important US institutions would prompt a response, which could take the form of diplomatic or economic sanctions, or possibly cyber measures.
A joint statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence was the first official accusation by Washington against Moscow in a spate of email hacks.