Trump Calls NYT Report on US Cyberattacks Against Russia ‘Treason’

Weekend report accuses US of stepping up attacks on Russia's power-grid

It’s common enough for the Trump Administration to dismiss credible reports on US activities from US news sources. When President Trump gets directly involved, however, and does so with extreme fury, it suggests the story may be worth taking a closer look at.

This weekend, that’s centered on the New York Times breaking a story about US cyberattacks. The report quotes officials who say that the US is conducting cyberattacks aggressively, particularly against Russia, and particularly against the Russian electrical grid.

The report goes on to suggest that the US is placing malware across vital Russian systems, allowing them to conduct devastating infrastructure attacks at a moment’s notice if the administration is so inclined.

This is an entirely credible report, because US officials have openly been talking about the need to “go on the offensive” in cyberspace for years, and this comes not so long after reports of offensive US cyberattacks against Russia during the mid-term elections.

President Trump’s reaction goes beyond all bounds of reality, declaring the New York Times “THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” and suggesting that even publishing the story was “a virtual act of Treason.” He went on to accuse the New York Times of being willing to publish any story “even if bad for our Country.”

Trump’s tirade raged on through the weekend, with talk of the New York Times’ dishonesty culminating in him postulating about a time six years in the future when both they and the Washington Post are “forever gone,” and where everything is so great that his supports insist he remain in office beyond his two-term limit.

Such flights of fancy aren’t entirely noteworthy in and of themselves, but that the article on US cyberattacks started the whole thing certainly underscores that this was a report the president didn’t want getting out.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.