Former Bush assistant: Mueller report makes Obama look 'just plain bad'

Former Bush assistant: Mueller report makes Obama look 'just plain bad'
© Getty Images

A former special assistant to President George W. Bush said special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s Russia report “looks just plain bad” for former President Obama.

Scott Jennings, a CNN contributor, penned an op-ed on Friday denouncing Obama for allowing Russians to meddle “on his watch.”

"The Mueller report flatly states that Russia began interfering in American democracy in 2014. Over the next couple of years, the effort blossomed into a robust attempt to interfere in our 2016 presidential election. The Obama administration knew this was going on and yet did nothing," Jennings wrote. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Jennings, who previously served as a campaign adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBolton emerges as flashpoint in GOP debate on Iran On The Money: Treasury rejects Dem subpoena for Trump tax returns | Companies warn trade war about to hit consumers | Congress, White House to launch budget talks next week | Trump gets deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico, Canada Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act MORE (R-Ky.), argued that Obama went “soft” on Russia because of the Iran nuclear deal.

“Obama wanted Putin in the deal, and to stand up to him on election interference would have, in Obama's estimation, upset that negotiation,” Jennings wrote. “This turned out to be a disastrous policy decision.”

Obama did slap sanctions on Russia after the election as punishment for its electoral interference, but Jennings said it was a “toothless response to a serious incursion.”

“I guess if I had failed to stop Russia from marching into Crimea, making a mess in Syria, and hacking our democracy I'd be looking to blame someone else, too,” Jennings wrote of Democrats’ attempts to deflect on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE or McConnell.

Jennings also noted that Obama and then-Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderEric Holder: 'There are grounds for impeachment' in Mueller report Prosecutor appointed by Barr poised to enter Washington firestorm Dems struggle to make Trump bend on probes MORE declined to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeWikiLeaks says Assange papers, manuscripts will be given to US authorities: report Chelsea Manning ordered back to jail after refusing to testify in WikiLeaks probe Authorities in Sweden reopen rape investigation into Assange MORE in 2010. Assange then helped Russia disseminate hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

He called for “subsequent investigations” into how the Obama White House “failed.”

“If you consider Russian election interference a crisis for our democracy, then you cannot read the Mueller report, adding it to the available public evidence, and conclude anything other than Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPelosi receives John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Romney: Trump 'has distanced himself from some of the best qualities of the human character' Biden calls for unity, jabs at Trump in campaign launch MORE spectacularly failed America,” Jennings wrote.

Mueller on Thursday released a 400-plus-page, partially redacted report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The report detailed extensive Russian efforts to help Trump win the 2016 election but did not find evidence of collusion between the campaign and Russia.

It noted that Trump staffers expected to benefit from Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential race against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' From dive bars to steakhouses: How Iowa caucus staffers blow off steam Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off MORE.

Mueller described how a Russian troll farm connected to the Kremlin worked to sow discord among the American public on social media.

The report also detailed how Russian intelligence officers hacked both the Democratic National Committee and Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.