Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that President Barack Obama should have taken action once he learned of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
Schiff, D-Calif., in an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said the American people “needed to know” high-level Russian officials were attempting to interfere with the U.S. election process.
“I think the Obama administration should have done a lot more when it became clear that not only was Russia intervening, but it was being directed at the highest levels of the Kremlin,” Schiff said.
President Donald Trump, who for months has rejected the notion of Russian interference, appeared finally to acknowledge the possibility in a series of tweets Saturday.
“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,” Trump said in the interview broadcast Sunday by Fox News. “But nobody wants to talk about that.”
Trump has called the investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russian officials a “witch hunt,” and former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee the president asked him to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russians.
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded Russian hackers stole embarrassing emails from the Democratic National Committee and leaked them to WikiLeaks. They also planted fake news stories on social media, one of which implicated top Democrats in a child trafficking ring run out of a Washington pizza parlor.
The Washington Post reported Friday the interference was directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and aimed at defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. The FBI opened an investigation July 22, and some lawmakers were briefed in September, but the White House did not disclose…