President Donald Trump said today he holds the Cuban government responsible for the mysterious auditory attacks that have made more than a dozen American diplomats in Havana sick over the past several months.
"I do believe Cuba's responsible. I believe that," Trump told reporters. Trump didn't clarify whether he believed the Cuban government actually launched the attacks or if he believes Cuba bears ultimate responsibility for the health of American diplomats there, which other U.S. officials have said.
The audio apparently sounds like crickets, some kind of high-pitched whine, according to The Associated Press, which obtained a copy of the tape. "There are multiple, distinct tones that sound to some like they're colliding in a nails-on-the-chalkboard effect," the AP reported Friday.
The State Department said in late September that 21 embassy employees "have suffered a variety of injuries from attacks of an unknown nature."
"The affected individuals have exhibited a range of physical symptoms, including ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues, and difficulty sleeping," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said then.
Trump appears to have gone a little further in blaming the Cuban government than his Chief of Staff John Kelly, who told reporters last week that the U.S. believed the Cuban government "could stop the attacks on our diplomats."
The same day State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters that an investigation was ongoing, and the U.S. doesn't know "who or what is responsible for" the attacks.
"But there's also another well-known fact, and that is that in a small country like Cuba, where the government is going to know a lot of things that take place within its borders, they may have more information than we are aware of right now," Nauert said.
The Cuban government has denied any involvement or knowledge of the attacks.