We got some clarity this week about why the Obama administration/Clinton campaign spent so much time talking about Russian interference in our election and their supposed links to the Trump team. Yes, it was because they wanted to deflect attention away from the damning DNC emails. And yes, it was because they were willing to use any informational means necessary to keep Donald Trump from becoming president. But also, they may have been trying desperately to convince the American people that they – they being the Obama administration – had done everything in their power to keep Moscow from meddling in our democracy.
But a new report from Politico this week shows just how wrong that narrative is.
Many on the left have made the (absurd) claim that the Russian election interference is analogous to 9/11. Well, if we take that assertion as truth, then Obama was just as responsible in his negligence of the intelligence as Bush was in the leadup to that tragic attack.
“According to report just out, President Obama knew about Russian interference 3 years ago but he didn’t want to anger Russia,” tweeted President Trump on Tuesday.
And yep, that just about sums it up.
The Obama administration received multiple warnings from national security officials between 2014 and 2016 that the Kremlin was ramping up its intelligence operations and building disinformation networks it could use to disrupt the U.S. political system, according to more than half a dozen current and former officials.
As early as 2014, the administration received a report that quoted a well-connected Russian source as saying that the Kremlin was building a disinformation arm that could be used to interfere in Western democracies. The report, according to an official familiar with it, included a quote from the Russian source telling U.S. officials in Moscow, “You have no idea how extensive these networks are in Europe … and in the U.S., Russia has penetrated media organizations, lobbying firms, political parties, governments and militaries in all of these places.”
That report was circulated among the National Security Council, intelligence agencies and the State Department via secure email and cable in the spring of 2014 as part of a larger assessment of Russian intentions in Ukraine, the official said.
According to the official Politico spoke to, the Obama administration “doubted” that Moscow was really capable of and willing to put their cyber-espionage tactics to the test in the upcoming election. Thus, they did very little to stop it and virtually nothing to prepare. So if we are to accept the standard assertion that Russia did meddle in the election, did hack the DNC, did engage in informational warfare on behalf of Trump, etc., etc., then Obama has no one to blame but himself for what happened.