Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Thursday defended special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation while slamming former President Barack Obama's administration for being slow to take action on Russian interference in U.S. elections and ex-FBI Director James Comey for telling Congress the agency was investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Our nation is safer, elections are more secure, and citizens are better informed about covert foreign influence schemes," Rosenstein said in a speech to the Armenian Bar Association, marking his first public remarks after the Mueller report was released, reports CBS News.
He also pointed out that the investigation revealed a pattern of computer hacking and the use of social media to undermine elections as "only the tip of the iceberg of a comprehensive Russian strategy to influence elections, promote social discord, and undermine America, just like they do in many other countries," reports The Wall Street Journal.
The Obama administration also made "critical decisions," including choosing not to publicize the full story about Russian hackers and social media trolling, "and how they relate to a broader strategy to undermine America," said Rosenstein.
He noted that the Mueller probe began after Comey disclosed during a hearing before Congress that President Donald Trump "pressured him to close the investigation and the president denied that the conversation occurred."
Rosenstein said two years ago, when he was confirmed, he was told by a Republican senator that he would be in charge of the probe and that he'd report the results to the American people.
However, he said he didn't promise to do that, because it is "not our job to render conclusive factual findings. We just decide whether it is appropriate to file criminal charges."
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