A top Russian official on Thursday suggested outgoing members of the Trump administration accused Moscow of hacking U.S. agencies to complicate bilateral relations for President-elect Joseph R. Biden.
Russian state media reported that Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the nation’s Foreign Ministry, made the suggestion while speaking during a press briefing about the recently disclosed SolarWinds hack.
“One cannot rule out, however, that the real purpose of new accusations against us is an attempt to prevent President-elect Joe Biden from establishing cooperation with Moscow, including on international information security issues,” Ms. Zakharova said, as reported by the Russian government’s TASS news agency.
“We are convinced that this scenario meets neither Russian nor American national interests,” Ms. Zakharova added, according to the outlet.
Several members of the Trump administration have said the Russian government appears to be responsible for the SolarWinds hack believed to have compromised multiple federal agencies, among other victims.
President Trump has downplayed the hack and said Russia might not be responsible, but Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and William P. Barr, the former attorney general before his resignation Wednesday, believe otherwise.
Mr. Biden is set to succeed Mr. Trump on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, and has recently slammed his soon-to-be predecessor for allowing the SolarWinds hack to happen during his presidency.
“The truth is this: The Trump administration failed to prioritize cybersecurity,” Mr. Biden said Tuesday.
“This assault happened on Donald Trump’s watch when he wasn’t watching,” he added. “It’s still his responsibility as president to defend American interests for the next four weeks. But rest assured that even if he does not take it seriously, I will.”
The Kremlin has denied responsibility for the SolarWinds hack.