- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:


White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that he was among the millions of federal workers whose personal information was stolen by hackers — but he still refuses to say China is to blame.

Asked at the daily White House briefing if was hit by the hackers, he said, “I was.”

The reporter followed up, asking if the rest of the executive branch was also hacked. Earnest said: “I don’t know how many people at the White House were affected.”

Meanwhile, the data breach of the federal Office of Personnel Management was far larger than originally thought. The Obama administration at first said some 4 million federal workers were affected, but on Tuesday, that number more than quadrupled to 18 million. 

Earnest was asked whether China was responsible for the hacking, but he repeatedly dodged the question. “I haven’t heard anything from the FBI on who the suspects are and who the suspect aren’t. So I would refer you to the FBI,” Earnest said.

In fact, Earnest was careful not to annoy America’s “strategic foe.”

“There are some areas where the United States and China are able to work together to advance our collective interests,” he said. No doubt there are areas where the U.S. and China are in competition, even heated competition. There are also areas where we are able to cooperate.”

 


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