Trump slams Obama for doing ‘nothing’ about Russia before the election
President Trump in an interview released Friday criticizes former President Barack Obama over Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, accusing Obama of doing “nothing” before the election.
“Well I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it. But nobody wants to talk about that,” Trump said in an interview airing in full Sunday on “Fox and Friends Weekend.”
“The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even — before the election. And I hardly see it. It’s an amazing thing,” Trump continued.
“In other words, the question is, if he had the information, why didn’t he do something about it? He should have done something about it. But you don’t read that. It’s quite sad,” Trump said.
Trump reiterated in a tweet that the Obama administration “knew far in advance” of the election about Russia’s meddling but “did nothing.”
Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2017
The comments came a day after Trump tweeted, asking why the Obama administration did not “stop” Russia during the election.
By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn’t they stop them?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
Some Democrats have joined in on criticizing the Obama administration’s handling of Russian election meddling.
“It was inadequate. I think they could have done a better job informing the American people of the extent of the attack,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), who also sits on the Intelligence Committee, called the penalties imposed on Russia for meddling “barely a slap on the wrist.”
The Obama administration is facing fresh criticism after The Washington Post reported that Obama was slow and cautious in responding to Russian election interference.
Some officials were reportedly wary of taking action before the election, which was dominated by Trump making claims on the campaign trail of the election being “rigged” against him.
The Obama administration ultimately acted in December, a month after Trump won the election, with Obama approving new economic sanctions and expelling 35 Russian diplomats from the U.S.
“It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend,” the Post quoted one Obama administration official as saying. “I feel like we sort of choked.”
A former senior Obama administration official on Friday slammed “hypocrisy” from lawmakers criticizing the past administration’s handling of Russia.
“Our critics are judging our actions in mid-2016 based on what we know by mid-2017. It’s an unfair standard,” Ned Price, a former spokesman for the National Security Council, told MSNBC’s Greta van Susteren.
“Knowing what we now know, we went on an aggressive push to make it clear both privately to the Russians that we knew what they were up to through multiple warnings, through multiple channels, over the course of many weeks, and to the American people,” he said.
Updated: 8:54 p.m.