Former President Barack Obama did not do enough when the U.S. intelligence community informed him Russia was meddling in the presidential election, Democratic Rep. Jim Himes told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin "is like a school yard bully," Himes said. "Every once in a while that guy needs to get knocked down to understand that… I always felt that guided by the idea of proportionality, which means that you hit back about as roughly as you've been hit, that we should have done more, and that could have taken a lot of forms.
"Sadly, what I think Russia sees today is a slap on the wrist and an unwillingness on the part of the United States to use its offensive capability to make sure that anyone that attacks us as they did prior to Election Day is going to pay a pretty significant price for doing so," he added.
However, Himes said President Donald Trump's accusation that Obama colluded with Russia is "just absurd."
Obama "mobilized the intelligence community," Himes said, adding that "he reached out to Putin. John Brennan, head of the CIA, called up his counterpart in Russia. There were the sanctions that were taken."
Himes, who is a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, also was critical of Trump for his threats on Syria.
"The president of the United States threatened a war, and as a member of Congress, it is really, really important that the American people be reminded that the president of the United States cannot go to war without congressional authorization unless we have been attacked, and we need to watch very, very carefully what happens in the coming days here because the president threatened to do just that."
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