In a flurry of tweets, Donald Trump also accused his predecessor of purposefully ignoring Russian efforts to interfere in last year’s presidential election. | Getty
President Donald Trump on Monday asked for an apology over the investigations into Russia’s election meddling and possible collusion with his 2016 campaign because those probes, which are ongoing, have not publicly turned up any proof of coordination between Trump associates and the Russian government.
In addition, in a flurry of tweets, he also accused his predecessor of purposefully ignoring Russian efforts to interfere in last year’s presidential election for fear of altering the course of an expected victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton.
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Trump won an unexpected victory last November and has seen his administration plagued by swirling controversy stemming from Russia’s campaign of cyberattacks against Democratic targets and investigations into whether the president’s campaign or anyone associated with him colluded with the Kremlin on those attacks.
Trump has regularly derided those investigations as a “witch hunt” and has more recently sought to turn the tables by accusing former President Barack Obama of failing to address Russia’s efforts to impact the electoral process. On Monday, Trump said Obama’s failure to act was not negligent, but a willful effort to aid his preferred presidential candidate.
“The reason that President Obama did NOTHING about Russia after being notified by the CIA of meddling is that he expected Clinton would win and did not want to ‘rock the boat,’” Trump tweeted. “He didn’t ‘choke,’ he colluded or obstructed, and it did the Dems and Crooked Hillary no good.”
While the Obama administration did impose some sanctions on the Russian government as a result of its interference efforts, at least one official from his White House told The Washington Post that the administration’s response to the Kremlin’s attack “is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend.”
“I feel like we sort of choked,” the official said.
Trump, for his part, spent months disputing the unanimous conclusion of the intelligence community that the Russian government was indeed behind the campaign of cyberattacks that targeted the Democratic National Committee. He instead suggested that the attacks could have been perpetrated by the Chinese government or “somebody sitting in a bed someplace.”
Trump took particular offense to the intelligence community’s assessment that the Russian government had launched its campaign of cyberattacks in an effort to aid his presidential campaign. He eventually relented and conceded that Russia was behind the attacks, but has not let up in his criticism of the ongoing investigations and media reporting on the issue, characterizing them as little more than excuses from Democrats embarrassed by their election loss.
“The real story is that President Obama did NOTHING after being informed in August about Russian meddling,” the president wrote. “With 4 months looking at Russia under a magnifying glass, they have zero ‘tapes’ of T people colluding. There is no collusion & no obstruction. I should be given apology!”