In his first public comments since Russia was named as the culprit behind the nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England earlier this month, CIA Director Gina Haspel warned that U.S. authorities would take a tough stance against Moscow if its actions inflicted “Havana Syndrome” on American soil.
“If it’s found that this came from Russia, then I think there are consequences that our country will take,” Haspel said in a question-and-answer session with journalists at the United Nations on Tuesday.
“If it is found that it was Russia that had this attack, then that will bring with it certain consequences,” she added. “I don’t want to get ahead of the facts of what that might be, but our people will take action.”
Moscow has denied responsibility for the attack and has pleaded ignorance in every incident that has occurred against the Skripals and other anti-Kremlin dissidents in Russia, most notably former spy Alexander Litvinenko who died in November 2006 after drinking green tea laced with radioactive polonium-210 at a tea bar in London.
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred to “cyber-meddling” in the 2016 presidential campaign in a statement after Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee and its allies’ emails. “Whoever is responsible, from here on out, they have a lesson to learn: Acts of cyber-meddling in an election will not go unanswered,” she added.