[On the interplay between Russian disinformation and hacking], there’s been a huge surge in interest… It’s sort of hit everybody in the face after the 2016 election...FireEye has made the subject a focus, building out its own intelligence team under analyst Lee Foster dedicated to tracking disinformation campaigns.
[Maria] Butina was another pawn on the chess board...Lots of people were doing lots of different things, all with the same goal. Butina was...another pathway to possibly reach Trump himself and influence the campaign.
The big challenge is to send a clear signal to the Russian federation that this kind of aggression has a red line. This is not something that the previous administration, the Obama administration, did effectively...This is an opportunity for this administration to send a clear message by taking specific actions, whether it be more broad, painful economic sanctions, where it be sending U.S. vessels into the Black Sea.
Moscow has been harassing commercial ships bound for Ukraine’s ports in the Sea of Azov for months...The attack on naval vessels now opens a new front in Russia’s four-year aggression against Ukraine, which includes the ongoing land war in Ukraine's east and the occupation of Crimea.