Secretary of State John Kerry says Russia has been warned not to interfere in the US presidential election, claiming that Moscow is trying but does not have the ability.
“We have made it crystal clear to Russia to what the consequences might be,” Kerry told CNN in an interview that was aired on Monday. “The president, myself, we’ve had conversations, we know what’s happening, we are being vigilant.”
“I do not believe Russia will have the ability to effect this election and we are going to be absolutely vigilant about it,” Kerry said. “The president has made that clear and Russia is warned.”
The remarks fall in line with a series of warnings by American officials over the past months, against what they call Moscow’s attempts to influence the November vote.
The campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who is locked in a dead hit battle with her Republican rival Donald Trump, has time and again accused the Kremlin of hacking its secrets and providing them to Clinton’s opponents.
High-ranking American officials echoed the same accusations in the wake of multiple security breaches at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
In late July, the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks released thousands of hacked DNC emails, which revealed an insider effort in the party to undermine Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ bid for the White House.
US intelligence agencies indicated that they had “high confidence” the Russian government was behind the hack.
CIA Director John Brennan warned earlier this month that the US must be on guard in the face of Russia’s “exceptionally capable and sophisticated” cyber capabilities.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who is tasked with investigating the matter, has also expressed concern over the alleged hacking attempts from Russia, saying, “the Russians hack our systems all the time.”
Russia has denounced all of the accusations, asserting that it will maintain its “neutral stance” on the candidates.