President Biden is asking intelligence agencies for a “full assessment” of Russian involvement in breaches of thousands of government and private-sector networks via SolarWinds Orion products, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Jan. 21.

“Even as we work with Russia to advance U.S. interests, so too we work to hold Russia to account for its reckless and adversarial actions,” Psaki said.

“And to this end, the President is also issuing a tasking to the intelligence community for its full assessment of the SolarWinds cyber breach, Russian interference in the 2020 election, its use of chemical weapons against opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and the alleged bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan,” she said.

Psaki said she didn’t know if President Biden yet planned a personal call to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but said early calls from Biden would more likely be directed to “partners and allies.”

“On SolarWinds … of course, we reserve the right to respond at a time and in a manner of our choosing to any cyberattack,” she said.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.