Obama: I don't think I 'underestimated' Putin

Obama: I don't think I 'underestimated' Putin
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President Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he doesn't think he "underestimated" Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I think that I underestimated the degree to which, in this new information age, it is possible for misinformation for cyber hacking and so forth to have an impact on our open societies, our open systems, to insinuate themselves into our democratic practices in ways that I think are accelerating," Obama said on ABC's "This Week."

The president said he ordered a report on Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election to make sure people understand this is something Putin has been interfering in for "quite some time in Europe."


"Initially in the former satellite states where there are a lot of Russian speakers, but increasingly in Western democracies," the president said.

Obama also said Moscow could meddle in the upcoming elections of NATO members. 

He added that he's urged President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries MORE to develop a strong relationship with the intelligence community.

"I think it's important that Congress, on a bipartisan basis, work with the next administration looking forward to make sure that this kind of influence is minimized," he said.

The intelligence community said in a declassified report released Friday afternoon that Putin ordered a widespread influence campaign intended to help elect Trump.

The report said Russia's goals in the election were to "undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency."

Trump on Saturday tweeted that having a good relationship with Russia is a "good thing." He also said the only reason the hacking of the Democratic National Committee is now being talked about is because "the loss by the Dems was so big that they are totally embarrassed."