Klain: Hack response will go beyond 'just sanctions'

Incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain said on Sunday that President-elect Joe Biden's response to the massive data breach - which U.S. officials believe was perpetrated by Russia - would go beyond sanctions.

KLAIN: "It's not just sanctions. It's also steps and things we could do to degrade the capacity of foreign actors to repeat this sort of attack or we're still engaged in even more dangerous attacks."

Klain said on CBS' Face the Nation that Biden was mapping out ways to push back against the suspected Russian hackers, who penetrated half a dozen U.S. government agencies and left thousands of American companies exposed - in what appears to be one of the biggest such hacks ever uncovered.

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney sounded an alarm on Sunday, calling the incident "extraordinarily damaging," and said President Donald Trump has a "blind spot" when it comes to Russia.

Trump acknowledged the hacking for the first time on Saturday, but downplayed its importance and questioned whether the Russians were to blame.

But Trump's own Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said on Friday that Russia was responsible for the attack, which was first reported by Reuters last week.

KLAIN: "We should be hearing a clear and unambiguous allocation of responsibility from the White House."

People familiar with the matter told Reuters that the options being weighed by the Biden team to punish Moscow include financial penalties and retaliatory hacks on Russian infrastructure.