Trump Does Nothing to Prevent Russian Interference, Then Blames Obama
Trump has done nothing to prevent Russian interference in our future elections, and has no interest in finding out what they did last year. In an interview on Friday on State TV, however, he was quick to Trump blame the Obama administration. Trump told Fox & Friends, “Well I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it…..It’s an amazing thing. To me, in other words, the question is, if he had the information, why didn’t he do something about it? He should have done something about it.”
Of course if Obama had been more aggressive, Trump would have been the first person to accuse him of interfering and trying to rig the election. In December, the Obama administration did impose sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their alleged involvement in hacking political groups during the election. They also closed Russian compounds in NYC and Maryland.
During the election, Trump constantly denied there was any Russian interference. In fact he publicly called for Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails, and a number of his surrogates seemed to know when hacked info would be released. Since taking office, his administration has continued those denials, despite receiving intelligence to the contrary, and has done nothing meaningful action to prevent Russian interference in future elections. Multiple intelligence officials, both from the Obama and Trump administrations have warned that it will happen again. Comey, and others, have testified that Trump has shown no interest in past or future interference by Russia. Even the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, testified that he has not received a classified briefing on Russian election interference.
The Washington Post published a lengthy exclusive Friday morning detailing the Obama administration’s response to reports that Russia had worked to interfere in the 2016 election. The post reported that last August the CIA gave Obama an intelligence bombshell. A report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government, detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the US presidential race. The report also contained captured intelligence of Putin’s specific instructions to defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s tried warn state officials about the vulnerability of their election systems to attack. He was rebuffed by Republican officials who saw his efforts as a nefarious attempt to infringe on state sovereignty. Republicans in congress were equally defensive. arguing that going public would further damage the voters faith in the electoral system. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went further, voicing skepticism that the underlying intelligence supported the White House’s claims.
Some Democrats have also voiced criticism that Obama allowed the Republicans intimidate him into backing off. On Sunday, Adam Schiff told CNN: “The Obama administration should have done a lot more when it became clear that not only was Russia intervening, but it was being directed at the highest levels of the Kremlin.”