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President Donald Trump sought to lay blame for Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election on former President Barack Obama during a Fox News interview Friday.
“Well I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it. But nobody wants to talk about that,” Trump said on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” in an interview set to air this weekend.
Trump’s remarks followed a bombshell Washington Post report that revealed details about the Obama administration’s response to classified intelligence showing Russia launched cyberattacks to undermine the democratic process and swing the election toward Trump while damaging Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
“The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even – before the election. And I hardly see it. It’s an amazing thing. To me – in other words, the question is, if he had the information, why didn’t he do something about it? He should have done something about it.”
A senior Obama administration official said that his team “sort of choked” when responding to reports that Russian-linked hackers had tried to influence to the November 2016 election. Other administration officials defended their efforts to The Post.
The FBI and several congressional committees are deep into multipronged investigations of Russia’s US-election interference, which are believed to include an FBI inquiry of Trump’s possible obstruction of justice in the matter in the wake of his firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Trump and officials tied to his campaign have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. The FBI’s investigation, led by special counsel Robert Mueller, is underway and, to date, no formal accusations have been leveled against Trump or his team.