Tags: Barack Obama | Russia | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | meddling | election | Democrat

Dem Swalwell: Obama Response to Russia 'Inadequate'

Image: Dem Swalwell: Obama Response to Russia 'Inadequate'
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

By    |   Friday, 23 Jun 2017 07:04 PM

Democratic lawmakers are criticizing former President Barack Obama for not having a more heavy-handed response to intelligence that showed Russia was meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential elections, The Hill reported Friday.

"It was inadequate," said Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., a member of the House Intelligence Committee. "I think they could have done a better job informing the American people of the extent of the attack."

The scrutiny comes following the testimony of former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday who said Obama refrained from responding too heavily over fears it would influence last year's presidential election.

In December, Obama did levy modest sanctions against Russia, but lawmakers maintained it was not harsh enough, given the severity of Russia's intent to interfere in the election. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., another House Intelligence Committee member, called the penalties "barely a slap on the wrist."

Republicans also criticized Obama, with Sen John McCain, R-Ariz., releasing a statement Friday said the former president "abjectly failed to deter Russian aggression" and "failed to impose any meaningful costs on Russia."

President Donald Trump, who often called the election "rigged" while running for office, weighed in Thursday when he tweeted, "By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn't they stop them?" 

Johnson defended the Obama administration in his testimony Wednesday.

"One of the candidates, as you'll recall, was predicting that the election was going to be rigged in some way," Johnson said. "And, so we were concerned that, by making the statement, we might in and of itself be challenging the integrity of the election process itself."

Another former Obama senior official expressed remorse for having not done more against Russia.

"It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend," the official told The Washington Post. "I feel like we sort of choked."

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Democratic lawmakers are criticizing former President Barack Obama for not having a more heavy-handed response to intelligence that showed Russia was meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential elections, The Hill reported Friday.
meddling, election, Democrat, response
322
2017-04-23
Friday, 23 Jun 2017 07:04 PM
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