Top Democrat slams Obama administration's response to Russian hacks

Posted June 26, 2017

Manchin's comments come in the wake of a Washington Post report that detailed the Obama administration's approach to punishing the Russian government for its hacking and influence campaign meant to politically damage Hillary Clinton and swing the election in Donald Trump's favor.

On Friday, Trump had tweeted, "Just out: The Obama administration knew far in advance of November 8 about election meddling by Russian Federation. WHY?" Trump tweeted Friday evening.

'Since the Obama Administration was told way before the 2016 Election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Did nothing about it. WHY? "But nobody wants to talk about that".

Obama's spokesman declined to comment on the tweets.

Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said that President Barack Obama should have acted more aggressively before the election to call out Russian Federation.

A key congress committee is investigating allegations that Russian Federation and Donald Trump's campaign team collaborated to influence the 2016 United States election - claims the White House and Putin have repeatedly denied.

The bombs are able to retaliate against future Russian cyber attacks, the Washington Post reports.

According to the Post, Obama and top officials became aware of Russia's activities in August 2016.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says the president continues to believe Russian Federation "probably" interfered in the 2016 election, but that "maybe some other countries did as well".

Trump's latest remarks appeared to be a response to a story in The Washington Post claiming the CIA had top-level intelligence last August that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an operation to help Trump win the USA presidential race.

After Trump's shock victory, there were strong regrets among administration officials that they had shied from tough action.

The Justice Department, meanwhile, is now conducting a special investigation involving in part whether Mr. Trump's campaign colluded with Russian operatives prior to his inauguration.

Since Wednesday the Obama administration's response has increasingly come under scrutiny in dueling congressional hearings held by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, in a bombshell report by the Washington Post and in the disclosure of correspondence between two Democratic senators last fall and Obama's State Department first reported on by BuzzFeed.

"It is such a dilemma, because if he had acted aggressively, in a way that he had gone public and said, 'This is why we're doing this, ' it would have been seized upon as an attempt to bias the election", Merkley said.

As he has with other newsmaking events, Trump used the article to argue that a months-long focus by the media, Congress and federal investigators on his campaign's alleged ties to Russian Federation has been misdirected.

By then, Trump already spoke frequently of a "rigged" election. Meanwhile over the last 5 months he has done absolutely everything in his power to aid and abet the Russians.

Other than calling the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's ties to certain members of his campaign a "total scam" and a "witch hunt", Trump had previously failed to give a definite confirmation regarding concerns over Russian forces potentially hacking the election.