Schiff: Obama's delayed response to Russian interference 'a very serious mistake'

Schiff: Obama's delayed response to Russian interference 'a very serious mistake'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump denies report that he still uses personal cell phone for calls Schiff asks Pence to declassify more material from official's testimony Schiff: Impeachment testimony shows Trump 'doesn't give a shit' about what's good for the country MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday the Obama administration made "a very serious mistake" for not taking action against Russia after learning of election meddling.

"I think the administration needed to call out Russia earlier, needed to act to deter and punish Russia earlier, and that was a very serious mistake," Schiff told host Dana Bash on CNN's "State of the Union."

Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, reasoned that President Obama reacted slowly because he was "worried about being perceived of trying to tip the scales for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Top GOP legislator in California leaves party GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties MORE" and that he didn't want to feed then-Republican candidate Donald Trump's narrative that the election was "rigged" against him.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Washington Post reported last week that Obama knew Russian President Vladimir Putin was attempting to influence the 2016 election results months before the election took place. 

Trump slammed Obama Saturday for failing to act more aggressively after learning about Russia's efforts to interfere in the election

"Since the Obama Administration was told way before the 2016 Election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T!" Trump tweeted.

The California lawmaker said on Sunday Trump should not complain about the news of Obama administration's delayed response to Russia's interference because Trump urged the Russians to hack into her emails.

"I think that was a mistake, but I have to contest what President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE is saying, because for Donald Trump who openly egged on the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton's emails and celebrated every release of stolen documents — to criticize Obama is now a bit like someone knowingly receiving stolen property blaming the police for not stopping the theft," Schiff continued, adding that the president "is in no position to complain here."

Other Democrats have similarly criticized Obama for his administration's response.