President Obama suggested in a new interview that voters should have cared more about Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential race.
“What is it about the state of our democracy where the leaks of what were frankly not very interesting emails, that didn’t have any explosive information in them, ended up being an obsession?” he asked in an interview on "The Daily Show" with Trevor Noah.
"And the fact that the Russians were doing this was not an obsession?"
Obama referenced a time during the presidential race when President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE called for the Russians to hack former Democratic rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE's emails so the country could "finally find out what's going on and confirm our conspiracy theories."
"The real question that, I think, we all have to reflect on is what’s happened to our political system," Obama said, "where some emails that were hacked and released ended up being the overwhelming story and the constant source of coverage, breathless coverage that was depicted as somehow damning in all sorts of ways — when the truth of the matter was it was fairly routine stuff.”
The president also said he doesn't think it should have been shocking to voters that the CIA concluded Russia intervened in the U.S. presidential race to help Trump win the White House.
“I don’t think there was any doubt among anybody in the media or among members of Congress as to who was being advantaged or disadvantaged by the political gossip that was being put out in drip, drip, drip fashion up to the election."
A secret CIA assessment concluded Russia intervened to help Trump win the presidency — allegations the president-elect has called "ridiculous" and said he doesn't believe.