Since Friday, when special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation announced indictments against 13 Russian nationals for meddling in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump has launched a Twitter campaign against Democrats and former President Barack Obama to shove blame away from his campaign for the interference.
Trump tweeted Monday questioning why Obama, who “was president up to, and beyond, the 2016 election” didn’t “do something about Russian meddling” and continued along that line of criticism into Tuesday morning, when he tweeted thanking his favorite show, “Fox and Friends,” for broadcasting a timeline of Obama’s “failures” “against Russia.”
Trump tweeted a quote that Obama made in October 2016 during a press conference, responding to then-candidate Trump’s allegations of widespread voter fraud. At the time Obama combatted Trump’s claims, saying “there is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s election, in part because they’re so decentralized.”
“I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and make his case to get votes,” Obama said in October 2016. The “Fox and Friends” segment Trump referenced also quoted similar remarks from the former president.
Trump seized on Obama’s statement on voter fraud to try to paint his predecessor as a hypocrite and claimed the “whole game changed” when he won the election and the “Russian excuse became the narrative of the Dems.”
Trump has repeatedly pointed to the Obama administration’s partial knowledge of Russian meddling leading up to the election as proof that Obama “didn’t want to hurt Hillary.”
In October 2016, the intelligence community under Obama accused Russia of hacking into the email servers of “U.S. political organizations.” In December 2016, Obama closed two Russian diplomatic compounds and expelled 35 diplomats in response to the interference. In June, The Washington Post reported that the Obama administration had received intelligence in August 2016 about a Russian President Vladimir Putin led campaign to get Trump elected.
Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified in June that the Obama administration was hesitant to make a statement about the Russian meddling because of Trump’s claims of voter fraud.
“One of the candidates, as you’ll recall, was predicting that the election was going to be rigged in some way,” Johnson said in June. “And so we were concerned that by making the statement, we might in and of itself be challenging the integrity of the election process itself.”
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