Russian interference is an Obama scandal

Sharyl Attkisson:
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Here are 10 reasons why Russia election interference seems set to become the most enduring scandal of the Obama administration.

Missed opportunity. Perhaps the best shot at disrupting Russian interference came as early as fall 2015. That’s when the FBI supposedly detected successful efforts by Russian hackers to breach Democratic National Committee (DNC) computers. For reasons unknown, the systems and others remained vulnerable to further attacks.

By July 2016, the DNC and FBI both had concluded Russians were responsible for additional hacks. Yet, the DNC reportedly refused to allowthe FBI to examine its servers and data in a timely fashion and — for reasons unexplained — the FBI failed to confiscate them. Obviously, when national security is at stake, the FBI does not need permission to examine evidence. A senior law enforcement official told CNN the DNC’s withholding of crucial evidence “caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.” If the FBI (then led by Director James Comey) had acted quickly and definitively to examine the evidence, could that have prevented further interference?

Denial. On Oct. 18, 2016, President Obama made a comment that rivals his “ISIS is the jayvee team” remark in terms of its wrongheadedness. He declared that “no serious person” would suggest America’s elections could be rigged. “There's no evidence that that has happened in the past or that there are instances in which that will happen this time,” said Obama.

At the time, the president was addressing a reporter’s question about voter fraud. But it’s significant to note that he offered this answer smack dab in the middle of the supposed Russia targeting of our election process. His failure to take the obvious opportunity to address this vulnerability implies he did not fully appreciate the threat, or was unwilling to confront it. Instead, he left the impression that the U.S. election process is impenetrable and outside interference is impossible.

Obama also infamously mocked Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 when Romney suggested Russia was a foe to be reckoned with. This begs the question of whether problems could have been staved off if the president had taken Russia more seriously.

Inadequate response. Actions that President Obama and his top intel officials did take to mitigate Russian interference proved woefully inadequate. After telling reporters that Russian intelligence operatives attacked Democrats’ computer systems, then-CIA Director John Brennan and his colleagues “privately warned their Russian counterparts not to persist with their active measures” and “Obama himself told Russian President Vladimir Putin not to interfere in the election.” CNN notes: “These warnings did not work.”

Failure to disclose. Obama intel officials secretly told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Russia was targeting the Trump campaign, but paradoxically kept the information secret from the Trump campaign. Experts say legitimate efforts to protect national security typically would include notifying the supposed target of the spying. Intel officials arguably should have alerted all the political campaigns and warned them to be on the lookout, asking if any suspicious contacts had been made.
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There is more.

Obama seemed more focused on going after Trump than on going after the Russians who were messing around in the election process.  While the Democrats did not become obsessed about it until they lost, the interference appears to have had no impact on the final results of the election.  That is a fact that they still try to ignore.

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