Democrat President Joe Biden ignited a firestorm on Wednesday over remarks that he made to Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to recent cyberattacks that have hamstrung critical U.S. infrastructure.
“Another area we spent a great deal of time on was cyber and cybersecurity,” Biden said. “I talked about the proposition that certain critical infrastructure should be off limits to attack — period — by cyber or any other means. I gave them a list, if I’m not mistaken — I don’t have it in front of me — 16 specific entities; 16 defined as critical infrastructure under U.S. policy, from the energy sector to our water systems.”
Biden says he gave Putin a list of 16 things that are off limits for cyber attacks on critical infrastructure. pic.twitter.com/ijyQX4LU2l
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) June 16, 2021
Biden’s remarks drew immediate scorn across the political spectrum for obvious reasons.
Rebeccah Heinrichs, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, wrote: “This is essentially inviting Putin to attack literally everything else.”
Conservative Noah Pollak responded to Biden’s remarks by writing on Twitter: “This is insane. This is one of the most pathetic moments in American diplomatic history.”
“I’m very confused about this. 16 entities that are ‘off-limits’ for attack, as opposed to others that aren’t?” Atlantic Council Director Benjamin Haddad wrote. “What does this mean?”
National Review Senior Writer David Harsanyi wrote: “Biggest loser today: the 17th most critical infrastructure entity in America.”
“So Putin’s cyber-pirates are free to attack anything else?” Mark Krikorian, Executive Director at the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote on Twitter.
“This is wild. Only 16 things?” Ruthless podcast host Comfortably Smug wrote on Twitter. “This is pathetic American surrender. Trump took away their pipeline. Biden gave it back and then surrendered everything but 16 things. American Decay.”
Political commentator Stephen Miller mocked Biden by writing the essence of what Biden told Putin, based on Biden’s own account of the interaction. “Whatever you do please do not attack these 16 critical pieces of US infrastructure,” Miller quipped. “Please.”
“16 things huh?” Fox News editor Cameron Cawthorne wrote. “I’m sure the former KGB agent won’t find loopholes to exploit here.”
“That’s like handing a list of your weak spots to the dude you’re about to box,” writer Brandon Morse tweeted. “This administration is a joke.”
“Wow, Biden is so generous,” Americans for Tax Reform analyst Andreas Hellmann wrote on Twitter. “Last month he gave Putin a pipeline, now a target list of critical infrastructure and a pair of sunglasses.”