Donald Trump Jr. Claims Reports Warning of Russian Cyberattacks Are Lies

Donald Trump Jr. said he didn't believe reports that warned of Russian cyberattacks in a clip that has now gone viral.

Donald Trump Jr. spoke on Fox News' Hannity Thursday to discuss crime rates across the U.S., President Joe Biden and tensions between America and Russia. On Twitter, a clip of him speaking on Sean Hannity's show has been viewed at least 450,000 times.

Trump Jr. said that suggestions of a cyberattack were lies to bring the U.S. into another war and distract from domestic issues.

"[Biden] has fixed exactly zero, Sean. In fact, he has made everything worse," Trump Jr. said.

"The border is a disaster, The Russians are about to invade Ukraine.

"We are getting in this hawkish policy where we are talking about sending troops into war because we have been out of war for all of three or four months after the disaster in Afghanistan."

President Biden has sent additional weapons to Ukrainian forces and has reportedly been considering whether to send thousands of U.S. troops to the region. Biden also warned in a speech on January 20 that even if Russia does not invade Ukraine, it may resort to cyberattacks.

Trump Jr. continued to dismiss this idea while speaking to Hannity.

"I get to read reports saying that intelligence is saying that Russians may be launching a cyberattack on America.

"I don't think so, I imagine that is our people lying to us to try and instigate us getting into another war to distract from the incompetence."

Trump Jr. did not make it clear what report he was referring to but the Department of Homeland Security recently warned of Russian cyberattacks against the U.S. in a memo.

"We assess that Russia would consider initiating a cyber attack against the Homeland if it perceived a US or NATO response to a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine threatened its long-term national security," the memo, dated January 23 and attributed to the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, read.

Newsweek has contacted Trump Jr.'s office for comment.

Despite Trump Jr.'s comments, Russian cyberattacks against the U.S. have been confirmed by American intelligence agencies over the years.

In July 2021, Newsweek reported that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) released an advisory saying Russia was responsible for attacks.

The attacks were linked to the GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency. The intelligence agency had also been tied to major international cyberattacks. The advisory also said the GRU had been tied to attempts to compromise the 2016 and 2020 U.S. elections.

Donald Trump Jr.'s father, former President Donald Trump, has previously said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin when he said Moscow was not involved in election interference.

He made these comments days after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the announcement 12 Russian intelligence officers had been indicted and accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Rosenstein had said that there were two units of foul play, one responsible for stealing information and another responsible for leaking that information to the public.

He added the suspects worked together as part of the Russian GRU military intelligence agency to "hack into computers, steal documents, and release those documents with the intent to interfere with the election."

Ukraine was victim to a cyberattack against its government websites earlier January as tensions remain high between Kyiv and Moscow.

The attack took place on January 14, and hackers posted a message on multiple government websites that warned Ukraine to "be afraid and expect worse," according to a report by The Hill.

A Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said it was too early to know if the attack was the work of Russia but they did highlight Russia had been the culprit behind previous cyberattacks on Ukraine.

"It's too early to draw conclusions, but there is a long record of Russian (cyber) assaults against Ukraine in the past," they told Reuters.

Donald Trump Jr
Donald Trump Jr. speaks during a Republican National Committee Victory Rally at Dalton Regional Airport January 4, 2021 in Dalton, Georgia. Trump Jr. dismissed a suggestion that the U.S. must be wary of cyberattacks from Russia. Alex Wong/Getty Images