Did the Obama administration respond forcefully enough to Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election? That’s a question being debated in the wake of new reporting on the scope of Russia’s interference and the Obama administration’s efforts to rebuff it.
California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, argued Sunday that the former president should have done more.
“I didn’t think it was enough to tell them after the election, but rather given the seriousness of this, I think the administration needed to call out Russia earlier, and needed to act to deter and punish Russia earlier and I think that was a very serious mistake,” Schiff said during an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Schiff speculated that the Obama administration might have been concerned with public’s perception of election meddling if they released this information because President Donald Trump repeatedly said the election would be rigged.
“I think they were concerned about being perceived as interfering in the election, trying to tip the scales for Hillary Clinton,” said Schiff. “I think they were also concerned about not wanting to play into the narrative that Donald Trump was telling, that the election was going to be rigged.”
Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who was an advisor to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, also weighed in during a panel discussion on “Face the Nation.”
“The Obama administration did not tell the American people that Putin was behind this and did not tell the American people what Putin was trying to do, hurt Hillary Clinton, support Donald Trump,” said Morell. “That’s a big, big decision.”
Adam Entous, the Washington Post reporter who co-wrote the latest big story on Russian meddling, said Obama administration officials were sent back to the “drawing board” on how to proceed with the information after meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
He added, “They were…