- REUTERS/Carlos Barria
President Donald Trump unleashed a tweetstorm on Saturday once again slamming former president Barack Obama for his apparent inaction when he learned Russia was meddling in the 2016 US election.
“Since the Obama Administration was told way before the 2016 Election that the Russians were meddling, why no action?” Trump tweeted. “Focus on them, not T!”
He followed up shortly after: “Obama Administration official said they ‘choked’ when it came to acting on Russian meddling of election. They didn’t want to hurt Hillary?”
Trump was referring to a Washington Post story detailing the Obama administration’s struggle to penalize Russia for its election interference.
The report found that even after Obama and his senior aides were provided with an intelligence report detailing how Russian hackers had breached the Democratic National Committee’s servers in an attempt to damage Clinton’s candidacy, they failed to act. That failure, the report said, was born out of an assumption that Clinton would win the November election regardless.
A senior Obama administration official said of his team’s inaction: “It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend.”
“I feel like we sort of choked.”
Trump’s tweets come as his own administration continues to grapple with ongoing congressional and FBI investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible role in Russian election interference. Last week, Trump seemed to confirm reports that he was under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who was selected to spearhead the FBI’s investigation after Trump ousted former FBI director James Comey.
In the weeks following Comey’s abrupt removal, a series of developments raised further questions about the president’s and his associates’ dealings with Russia. A number of administration officials and advisers, including Trump himself, have now hired outside legal counsel to represent in the continuing investigation.
Following his tweets about the Russia investigation, Trump also touted the Senate’s healthcare bill and appeared to urge Republican senators to support the measure. “I cannot imagine that these very fine Republican Senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken ObamaCare any longer!” he tweeted.