Political News

Former NSC employee: Putin is engaging in 'information warfare'

Posted October 31, 2017 9:50 a.m. EDT

— A former National Security Council employee who served in the White House under President Barack Obama has issued a harsh rebuke of Russia President Vladimir Putin, saying his actions during the 2016 election amount to "21st-century information warfare."

Responding to reports that 126 million Americans saw Russian-linked Facebook content during and after the 2016 presidential campaign, Samantha Vinograd told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Tuesday that "Putin is engaging in digital psyops, or psychological operations."

She continued, "He's using misinformation to try to sow divisions in the United States. His view is, the more divided we are here at home, the weaker we're going to be."

Vinograd, who served as senior advisor to the National Security Advisor from 2011 to 2013, observed, "The problem is because we consume so much content online, there's a lot of room for Russia or other bad actors to continue to exploit the digital space."

When pressed by Cuomo on what should be done to fight the problem, she replied, "There's two key conclusions from this. One is, neither the private sector not the government can go it alone when it comes to these digital psyops ... My second point is, we have to take actions to hold the Russian government accountable."