‘He did NOTHING, and had no intention of doing anything!’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report of former President Barack Obama‘s response to Russian interference in the 2016 election, which Republican members described as “delayed and ineffective.”
The report, titled “U.S. Government Response to Russian Activities,” found that the Obama administration learned about potential interference well before the 2016 election, but officials failed to inform the public or defend the nation, CNBC reported.
Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, John Cornyn of Texas, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Jim Risch of Idaho commented on the report in a press release.
“Well before the 2016 election, there was clear and mounting evidence that Russia intended to conduct cyber-attacks against our political infrastructure,” they wrote.
“This report and our additional views demonstrate the Obama administration was paralyzed in recognizing, and incompetent in responding forcefully to Russian attempts to sow discord in the U.S. and influence our elections, ” they said.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the Obama administration never decided upon a course of action.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, agreed that the Obama administration’s response had “many flaws,” but he said that “many of those were due to problems with our own system—problems that can and should be corrected.”
Critics have said Obama avoided taking action because he felt certain of a Hillary Clinton victory and feared casting doubt on the election’s integrity or appearing publicly like he might be trying to sway it.
“[F]actors included the highly politicized environment, concern that public warnings would themselves undermine confidence in the election, and a delay in definitive attribution to Russia, among other issues,” the report said.
However, members of Obama’s intelligence community, such as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have claimed that Obama, himself, had directed their efforts to interfere in the election and to secretly spy on then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign using the false pretenses of Russian collusion.
Trump said last year that Obama administration sat on its hand, which the report confirmed.
“He did NOTHING, and had no intention of doing anything!” Trump said on Twitter, CNBC reported.
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan report is the third installment in a series of five reports that will be released regarding the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s interefence in the 2016 election.
The Obama administration reportedly issued “high-level warnings … to Russian officials,” but it is unclear whether those warnings “tempered Moscow’s activity.”
When Obama learned that Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly hacked the Democratic National Committee, he told him to “cut it out.”
Although the Obama administration knew about Russia’s activities as early as June 2016, it did not convey that knowledge to the public until October 2016.
“If the Administration had informed the public of Russian hacking and dumping earlier than October 7, and had there been bipartisan condemnation of these operations, the public and the press may have reacted differently to the WikiLeaks releases,” the committee’s report said.
The report further speculates that Trump would have backed away from topics related to WikiLeaks and Russia if he knew the full extent of their activities to influence the election.
“At the least, stories about Democratic emails might have mentioned that their release was part of a Russian influence campaign and that Donald Trump’s repeated references to the releases, his stated adoration of WikiLeaks, and his solicitation of Russian assistance were taking place in the context of an ongoing influence campaign to assist him,” the report claimed.
The two-year-long Mueller Report, released in March 2019, ultimately concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support claims that Trump intentionally colluded with the Russians.