Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) became the latest prominent Republican to slam the Biden administration Wednesday over its response to the ransomware attack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline for five days.
“The two responses from the president, Biden, and his spokesperson were unnerving,” Graham told “Fox News Primetime.”
“They’re naïve, they’re weak, and they don’t show an understanding of the problem.”
Graham reserved particular scorn for Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who reminded reporters during a White House press briefing Tuesday that “if you drive an electric car, this would not be affecting you, clearly.”
The senator was flummoxed by the remark.
“That was the dumbest thing in the world,” Graham said of Granholm’s remark. “‘If we had all electric cars, the pipeline hack wouldn’t matter.’ Well, what if they take down the power company, the power unit you plug your car into? So they’re just disconnected. They don’t understand prevention.”
On Monday, the FBI announced that it had identified a professional hacking group called “DarkSide” as being behind the attack. That same day, President Biden told reporters that US intelligence officials believe the hackers are based in Russia, though he added there was “no evidence” the Kremlin was involved.
“Did Russia know about this? Did the Pakistanis know that [Osama] Bin Laden was living in Pakistan for years? Yes. Do the Russians know that they have cybercriminals in their backyard attacking infrastructure all over the world? Yes,” Graham said.
“So, let’s create a cyberterrorist law that would give the United States the authority to go against DarkSide as if it was a terrorist organization … Let’s start holding Russia accountable for allowing this behavior to happen in their backyard with impunity.”
Colonial Pipeline announced Wednesday that normal operations had been restarted, though the company cautioned that it will take several days for fuel deliveries to return to normal. The disruption had caused long lines at gas stations across the Southeast due to distribution problems and panic-buying.
At the time Colonial Pipeline announced operations had resumed, a whopping 69 percent of gas stations in North Carolina were experiencing fuel outages, according to the website GasBuddy.com. Virginia (52 percent), South Carolina (48 percent) and Georgia (46 percent) were also hard-hit.
The pipeline, which runs from Texas to New Jersey, delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast. The cyberattack has raised fresh concerns about the vulnerability of America’s infrastructure.
With Post wires