Lynch: FBI takes Russian hacking ‘very seriously’

Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Friday defended the FBI’s response to suspected Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.

“What I can tell you is that this investigation was taken seriously from the beginning,” Lynch told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead." "This is an incredibly serious issue. [It’s] an ongoing investigation. It’s been taken very seriously.”

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBudowsky: Closing message for Democrats Election Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach GOP mocks Clinton after minor vehicle collision outside Mendendez campaign event MORE's campaign chairman John Podesta, whose emails were published by WikiLeaks, said in a Washington Post op-ed that the agency’s handling of the situation shows it is “deeply broken.”


“I can’t comment on Mr. Podesta’s sources or where he gets his information or why he has that view,” Lynch said. "But what I can say is that he’s not involved in the ongoing investigation, so he wouldn’t be privy to everything that would be said or done to that.”

Lynch additionally cautioned against comparing the FBI’s investigation of Russian election interference to its probe of the private email server Clinton used as secretary of State.

“You can’t characterize it,” she said when asked why Clinton’s emails got more FBI attention than Russian hacking. "I don’t think it is going to be helpful to try and draw equivalencies with others, to say, ‘Therefore it means that one was more or less important.' As I said, one is resolved right now, one is finished, and one is very active and very ongoing.”

Podesta on late Thursday accused the FBI of misplacing its priorities by focusing too much on Clinton’s server before Election Day.

“The more we learn about the Russian plot to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign and elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE, and the failure of the FBI to adequately respond, the more shocking it gets,” he wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.

“Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI.”

A CIA analysis has concluded Russia interfered in last month’s election to help Trump become the president-elect, according to reports. Russia denies the claims, although some intelligence officials believe Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly involved.