“Obama Administration official said they ‘choked’ when it came to acting on Russian meddling of election. They didn’t want to hurt Hillary,” Trump wrote on Twitter. | Getty
President Donald Trump on Saturday again questioned why former President Barack Obama’s administration did not do more to stop reported Russian meddling in the 2016 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,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Obama Administration official said they ‘choked’ when it came to acting on Russian meddling of election. They didn’t want to hurt Hillary?”
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The Washington Post reported this week that Obama and his aides wrestled with when to publicly disclose evidence that Russian officials tried to interfere with the 2016 election because they feared being accused of trying to influence the election themselves.
Jennifer Palmieri, Hillary Clinton’s former communications director who has also served as Obama’s White House communications director, on Friday came to the former president’s defense saying: “I think they did it in the best interest of the country.”
Trump initially tweeted Thursday wondering why the Obama administration did not stop Russia from interfering in the election, writing: “By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn’t they stop them?”
The president, who has repeatedly downplayed the impact of the Kremlin’s interference attempts on the general election, seemingly acknowledged the existence of an influence campaign by Russia on Twitter Friday, tweeting: “Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?”
A special counsel is currently overseeing a probe on Russia’s influence in the 2016 election.