The Obama administration decided not to retaliate against Russia for interfering in the presidential election because they did not want to start a cyber war and they expected Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE to win, NBC News reported Thursday.
"They thought she was going to win, so they were willing to kick the can down the road," an official told the outlet.
President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE, who has dismissed assessments that Russia tried to influence the outcome of the election, raised the question on Thursday.
“If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?” Trump tweeted.
If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2016
President Obama promised in an interview with NPR that aired Friday morning that the U.S. would retaliate against Russia over its suspected interference.
“I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections, that we need to take action and we will — at a time and place of our own choosing,” he said.
"Some of it may be explicit and publicized, some of it may not be,” Obama added.
A secret CIA assessment reportedly concluded Russia intervened in the U.S. presidential election to help Trump win the White House — a report Trump and his aides have since blasted as "ridiculous."
White House spokesman Josh Earnest earlier this week suggested Trump was aware before Election Day that Russia was behind a series of hacks on Democrats and Democratic Party organs during the campaign.
Before the election, Clinton and the White House raised concerns about Russia's interference in the presidential race.
Back in July, Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, said it was "troubling" that experts were saying the hacks into the Democratic National Committee were "done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump."
In October, the nation's top intelligence agencies publicly accused Russia of attempting to disrupt the U.S. election through alleged hacks of the DNC and the private email of Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.
Rebecca Savransky contributed.