The Kremlin wants U.S. President Donald Trump to weigh in on whether the White House views Russian Federation as a threat to the U.S. and its allies, stating that it is Trump's opinion that matters to Moscow, not the vice president's. Qatar said that report and the quote attributed to the emir were false.
While the FBI and CIA - the agencies in charge of the USA investigation - declined to comment on the CNN report, the director of the Qatari Government Communications Office, Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed Al-Thani, said only that the FBI and the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency is helping Qatar investigate the incident. The praise for Iran especially angered its Persian Gulf neighbors, and a week later, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed ties with Qatar and closed air and sea routes to the tiny country.
President Donald Trump piled on Tuesday, blaming Qatar for funding extremism and implicitly taking credit for the Gulf countries' hardline approach. That's despite accusations that Saudi Arabia, too, finances terrorism. "Because it was started based on fabricated news, being wedged and being inserted in our national news agency which was hacked and proved by the Federal Bureau of Investigation".
Qatar is home to a key USA airbase, a centerpiece in the US -led coalition's fight against the Islamic State.
Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the Federation Council's International Affairs Committee, said Pence's remarks were "the pinnacle of absurdity", adding that Russia and Iran are only "dangerous to the [U.S. -dominated] unipolar world". The Qatari government claimed the report was fake, and had been planted by hackers.
Russian Federation denied involvement in the hack, stealing a page from the White House's media relations strategy. It's so far away from the reality.
Although US officials pointed to Russia as the source of the hacking, it has yet to be determined whether the latest incident was traced back to criminal organizations in Russia or Russian military intelligence units, such as the GRU.