The top Democrat on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on Sunday criticized the administration of former President Barack Obama for not taking earlier and tougher action against alleged Russian hacks aimed at swaying the November 8 election for Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has claimed that Barack Obama “colluded or obstructed” when he did not punish Russian Federation for meddling in the United States election, saying that the former president expected Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to win. In the story, one official said the administration “choked” in its response, which included weighing the possibility the White House could undermine a likely Hillary Clinton victory over Trump. “I feel like we sort of choked”, an anonymous former Obama official told The Post.
Some Democrats saw abundant irony in Trump blaming Obama for indecisiveness against a Russian operation he himself has long seemed to play down – including when he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey in May over his handling of allegations of meddling, and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign.
Obama did not select one of the more extreme options (i.e. revealing unsavory information about Putin) as he did not wish to bring upon himself and his administration accusations of meddling against the Republican candidate.
He tweeted that after months of reviewing Russian Federation “under a magnifying glass, they have zero “tapes” of T people colluding. There is no collusion & no obstruction“, he continued, before stating, “I should be given apology!” “I should be given apology!” he added.
“They had been very clear, they had been playing this card about blaming Trump and Russia“, Spicer said of the Obama administration. And that they might say as a Trump campaign representative, “wow you have that?”
“You take words and you do everything you can to make them meaningless”.
Trump has regularly derided those investigations as a “witch hunt” and has more recently sought to turn the tables by accusing former President Barack Obama of failing to address Russia’s efforts to impact the electoral process.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now overseeing an investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
That was again on display Monday when Trump tweeted that the Obama administration “did NOTHING about Russia” before the election, despite being informed of Russia’s efforts not long after Trump’s fateful news conference.
The Obama administration is facing fresh criticism after The Washington Post reported that Obama was slow and cautious in responding to Russian election interference.
The Justice Department, FBI and Senate and House Intelligence committees are probing possible links between Trump’s team and the Kremlin.
Former Obama spokesman Eric Schultz said the “situation was taken extremely seriously” as evident by Mr. Obama’s “raising the issue directly with President (Vladimir) Putin“.