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Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The Russian government is increasingly partnering with cyber criminals in its online espionage efforts, Obama administration national security official John Carlin told "60 minutes" Sunday.

"This is a kleptocracy. This is a government by theft. And the thing that matters the most is that you do what the don wants, what the head of the crime family wants. And here, the head of the crime family is Putin."
— John Carlin, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security

Why it matters: Carlin's comments come after the release of the redacted findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation showed concerns of Russian interference in U.S. elections. "We understand the FBI believes that this operation enabled [Russian military intelligence] to gain access to the network of at least one Florida county government," in the 2016 elections," the report states.

The other side: Putin has previously denied any allegations of Russia being involved in hacking.

The big picture: Carlin, author of "Dawn of the Code War," told CBS' Lesley Stahl Russian cyber espionage is one of the greatest threats to the U.S. Spy agencies can cover their tracks by hiring cyber criminals to do the work for them.

"Increasingly, you cannot tell which is which when it comes to the criminal and the intelligence agency. So one day, the same crook may be doing something purely to make a buck. But that same crook may be directed by a trained intelligence operative using the same tools and techniques to steal information from them for the goals of the state."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper: Growing Russian interference calls for coordinated response

Go deeper

Rep. Rice demands Cuomo resign after third woman accuses him of misconduct

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February news conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) on Monday evening called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign, after a third woman accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Driving the news: Anna Ruch told the New York Times Monday that Cuomo asked to kiss her at a New York City wedding reception in September 2019.

Scoop: Inside the GOP's plan to retake the House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Republicans will reclaim their majority in 2022 by offering candidates who are women, minorities or veterans, a memo obtained by Axios says.

Why it matters: The document, drafted by a super PAC blessed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, names top Democrats to target — Jared Golden of Maine, Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania and Ron Kind of Wisconsin — and the type of Republican candidates to beat them.

Scoop: Trump talked out of early Ohio endorsement

Jane Timken at a 2017 Trump rally. Photo: Kyle Mazza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Donald Trump had to be talked out of making an early endorsement in Ohio's 2022 U.S. Senate race, a sign of his eagerness to reengage politically, people familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

What we're hearing: The former president discussed endorsing former state GOP chair Jane Timken last week during a meeting at Mar-a-Lago with RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, but top advisers — including Donald Trump Jr. — urged him to wait.