Former President Obama accused by current President Donald Trump of not reacting to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US elections
Following an article in the Washington Post stating former President Obama had learned in August 2016 of Vladimir Putin’s “direct involvement” in an alleged conspiracy to interfere with the US presidential elections, President Trump declared Obama had prior knowledge of Russian meddling and “did nothing” in response.
The article details Obama being informed by Russian government sources that Vladimir Putin was knowingly involved in a campaign to interfere with the election, injure Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s chances, and encourage a Trump win.
Despite having considered numerous retaliatory options upon learning of the Russian cyber campaign, Obama settled upon expulsing 35 Russian diplomats from the United States and closing down two Russian compounds, a typically cautious response.
Obama did not select one of the more extreme options (i.e. revealing unsavory information about Putin) as he did not wish to bring upon himself and his administration accusations of meddling against the Republican candidate.
Trump himself under investigation for possible obstruction of justice
Allegations abound of inappropriate complicity between Trump campaign and administrative staff and Russian officials, following the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and subsequent investigations and inquiries.
Trump’s sudden questioning of Obama’s handling of the meddling allegations in the wake of the aforementioned investigations is rather incongruous, considering Trump has thus far vehemently denied all allegations against himself and his administration as being an unfounded “hoax” by the Democratic party to discredit him.
Trump issued several Tweets regarding the issue, accusing Obama of mishandling the allegations and rhetorically asking if “They didn’t want to hurt Hillary?”.
A Fox news interview with Trump will air on Sunday quoted Trump as stating: “If he had the information, why didn’t he do something about it? He should have done something about it. But you don’t read that. It’s quite sad”.