President Trump appeared to acknowledge Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign while criticizing the Obama administration's response to a Russian interference campaign he has repeatedly denied took place.
US President Donald Trump has finally acknowledged Russian interference in last year's presidential election - but immediately blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for not taking action. Trump tweeted, before granting himself a mononym. Did nothing about it. WHY?
The president had questioned Obama's response over Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 election. Among other things he did not want to play into the hands of Donald Trump who constantly said that the results of the voting would be falsified.
While the Bloomberg report confirmed that the Obama administration did have knowledge of the hacking, the White House was ultimately unwilling to risk public confidence in the election's integrity.
"Throughout his presidency, Obama's approach to national security challenges was deliberate and cautious".
But following a Washington Post report Friday Trump seemed to have changed his approach.
The report suggests that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally asked Kremlin to help rig the election in Trump's favour. However, Mr. Obama was wary of publicly accusing Russian Federation of aiding Mr. Trump, fearing such an accusation would be seen as the White House trying to bolster Clinton's chances.
"Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks!"
According to the Post, Obama and key advisers were concerned that Russian Federation could launch a potentially crippling attack on US voting systems before election day.
Administration officials briefed top members of Congress of both parties about Russia's actions in the weeks leading up to the election.
Just last week, Bloomberg confirmed that hackers working for Russian military intelligence were trying to take over the computers of 122 local election officials just days before the November 8 election.
Merkley and other Democratic lawmakers said Russian Federation used extensive methods in the cyber campaign, including 1,000 trolls, hacking and bots to generate fake messages on social media.
The President has been reluctant to acknowledge that Moscow interfered in the election despite the conclusions of all the US intelligence agencies. "The CIA gave him information on Russian Federation a long time before they even - before the election". In a statement to NBC News, one US official said that the White House is responding in ways "some you'll see, some you won't see..."