Attorney General William Barr contradicted President Donald Trump on Monday, claiming Moscow was likely behind the hacking of multiple federal agencies.
Barr said he agreed with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said last week Russia had “pretty likely” hacked into third-party software contractor SolarWinds — thereby gaining access to multiple government agencies including the departments of Homeland Security, State, Treasury and Energy.
“From the information I have, I agree with Secretary Pompeo’s assessment, it certainly appears to be the Russians but I’m not going to discuss it beyond that,” Barr told reporters, according to The Hill.
National security officials believe the intruders breached federal agencies around March, with officials still evaluating the hack’s full extent and the risk it poses to U.S. security, according to The Hill.
Barr also broke with the president on naming a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden and on parts of the president’s ongoing litigation over alleged voter fraud, saying there is no legitimate basis for the federal government to seize voting machines.
“To the extent that there’s an investigation, I think that it’s being handled responsibly and professionally currently within the department,” Barr said on the matter of Hunter Biden. “To this point, I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel, and I have no plan to do so before I leave.”
The attorney general is expected to step down from his post on Wednesday.