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Trump accuses New York Times of "virtual act of treason" with Russia

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends an interview with Stephanopolous Trump defends an interview with Stephanopolous Buttigieg on foreign intelligence offers: "Just call the FBI" On Saturday afternoon, he intensified his attacks on the New York Times, accusing the paper of committing a "virtual act of treason" for reporting on the proliferation of cyber attacks on the Russian electricity grid in Russia.

"Do you believe that the New York Times in failure just said that the United States dramatically increase cyberattacks against Russia," Trump said on Twitter. "It's an act of virtual betrayal by a big newspaper that was desperately searching for a story, whatever it may be, even if it was bad for our country."

Trump asserted in a separate tweet that the story was "not true!"

"All that goes with our Corrupt News media today," he added. "They will do or say whatever it takes, without the slightest thought of consequence! These are real cowards and without a doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!"

The Times on Saturday released a new report on US efforts to penetrate the Russian electricity grid. The Times, quoting current and former government officials, said these actions are a warning to Moscow about how the Trump administration is using the new authorities to aggressively launch cybernetic tools.

Officials said the US was deploying computer code in the Russian network and other targets. These measures would be part of a broader initiative to combat Russia's hacking in the 2018 mid-term elections.

"The situation has become much more aggressive over the past year," said a senior intelligence officer at the Times. "We are doing things on a scale that we had never considered a few years ago."

Advocates of the strategy reportedly said the US campaign was justified, given the Department of Homeland Security and FBI warnings that Russia has introduced malicious software that could damage power plants, pipelines, pipelines and sources of water supply.

The new cyber authorities were awarded to the US Cyber ​​Command by the White House and Congress last year, according to the Times. The administration refused to comment in front of the Times on the specific actions undertaken.

Several senior administration officials also told the newspaper that they did not think Trump would have been informed about computer code deployment projects in the Russian network. Some Pentagon officials and the intelligence community told The Times that there was a reluctance to give Trump details about the operations.

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