President Donald Trump on Sunday questioned former President Barack Obama's decision to “do something” about Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election months before Election Day, saying Obama was motivated by wanting Hillary Clinton to win.
“Why didn’t President Obama do something about the so-called Russian Meddling when he was told about it by the FBI before the Election?” Trump tweeted. “Because he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win, and he didn’t want to upset the apple cart! He was in charge, not me, and did nothing.”
The Obama administration knew about Russia’s efforts and Obama himself was briefed in August 2016 that Russian President Vladimir Putin was involved in interfering. The White House debated various options to punish Russia but faced potential risks and obstacles according to the Washington Post.
“In many ways . . . we dealt with this as a cyberthreat and focused on protecting our cyber infrastructure,” former Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told the Post. “Meanwhile, the Russians were playing this much bigger game, which included elements like released hacked materials, political propaganda and propagating fake news, which they’d pursued in other countries.”
“We weren’t able to put all of those pieces together in real time,” Rhodes said, “and in many ways that complete picture is still being filled in.”
Trump has frequently posed the Obama-Russia question, and has called the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller a witch hunt.
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