Biden's Answer on the Colonial Pipeline Ransom Is Something Else

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

As we reported earlier, Colonial Pipeline apparently paid a $5 million dollar ransom within hours of facing a cyber attack on Friday from a ransomware group.

According to the report, the Biden folks were also told that the ransom had been paid. So when they were telling us it was a “private sector” decision, they likely already knew that the ransom had been paid. They may have been trying to put some distance between themselves and that decision. But in the meantime, if they knew, they were buffaloing us and not telling us that.

So a reporter was able to ask Joe Biden about it today, in a rare moment when Biden was actually answering questions, one of those moments that his team tries to avoid.

“Were you briefed on the fact that the company did pay the ransom,” the reporter asked Biden.

Biden pauses, considers, and then says, “I have no comment on that.” Translation: he was and they knew.

Does he really think he can just leave it at that? How does he think that other countries or other ransomware groups are going to take this knowledge?

Meanwhile, he and his team have been sitting on the information and not telling us that, while people were getting worried and lining up at the gas pumps.

Biden was also asked if he was “confident that Putin was not involved” in the Colonial Pipeline hack?

His response was again a bit odd. Instead of just saying, “Yes,” he said, “I am confident that I read the report of the FBI accurately, and they say…he was not, the government was not.”

The government doesn’t have to be formally involved for hackers to be doing their dirty work for them. Indeed, that’s often the way it works, so there’s some plausible deniability.

So what’s the real story here? What exactly was the Biden team’s involvement in the decision?

Imagine, for a moment, if all this had gone down on the watch of President Donald Trump and if he refused to say whether or not a ransom had been paid to hackers possibly connected to Russia. The media would be losing their minds. Democrats would already be demanding impeachment. How is this at all acceptable as a response? And why have you been stringing us along for days? Of course, given that it’s Biden, perhaps he forgot that he was briefed. How is this transparent, and how do we know we’re getting a straight story when we hear from these guys? I know, we don’t.