President Barack Obama took a stance against Russia's intelligence hacks, issuing sanctions against Russian diplomats in the U.S., measures which were not imposed against China's hacks because Russia stole information and "weaponized it" unlike the Chinese, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday.
"Here's what's different about what Russia did: They didn't just steal data, they weaponized it," Schiff told ABC's "This Week" host Jonathan Karl. "They dumped it during an election with a specific intent of influencing the outcomes of that election and sowing discord in the United States.
"That is not something China has ever done. It's not something, frankly, that Russia has ever done here, although it has done it in Europe, and that is a very different situation than the mere stealing information is, as serious as it was in China's case.
"And that's why the administration handled both cases very differently, and that makes all the sense in the world."
Karl had pressed Schiff, the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, on the duality of U.S. actions against the countries: punishing one and ignoring the other at the very end of Obama's last presidential weeks.
"Doesn’t the incoming Trump press secretary [Sean Spicer] have a point here on the response by the Obama Administration?" Karl asked. "We did have that hack by the Chinese — the OPM attack — this was 22 million federal employees affected.
"The Obama Administration did nothing that we know of publicly. Why did they do nothing about that huge hack done by China and this — just on the way out the door — make this big statement about the Russia hack?"
Schiff contends China's hack was not sanctioned because "all nation's gather foreign intelligence information," so, ostensibly: Deal with it.
"You're not going to prevent foreign nations from stealing data that they think is in their interest," Schiff told Karl. "The best you can do is defend against it."
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