ABC's Jon Karl Grills Josh Earnest: Why Was There No Public Response When China Hacked OPM?


ABC News White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl questions White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest about the disparity in public responses to Russian and Chinese cyber attacks. In light of the recent retaliation against Russia for hacking the DNC, Karl asks why there was no public response when China hacked the U.S. government's Office of Personnel Management and stole personal information about more than 20 million employees of the federal government.

JON KARL, ABC: So when the Chinese hacked OPM in 2015, 21+ million current and former government employees and contractors had their personal data stolen by the Chinese. Why did the White House do nothing publicly in reaction to that hack? Which in some ways, was even more widespread than what we saw here from the Russians?

JOSH EARNEST: These are two cyber incidents that are malicious in nature but materially different.

KARL: 20 million people had their personal data taken... fingerprints, social security numbers, background checks. This was a far-reaching act--

EARNEST: I'm not downplaying the significance of it, I'm just saying that it is different than seeking to interfere int he conduct of a U.S. national election. I can't speak to the steps that have been taken by the United States in response to that Chinese malicious cyber activity--

KARL: But nothing was announced. There was not a single step announced by the White House. '

EARNEST: It is true that there was no public announcement about our response, but I can't speak to what response may have been initiated in private.

KARL: But no diplomats expelled, no compounds shut down, no sanctions imposed, correct?

You don't do that stuff secretly.

Show commentsHide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives