You would think that President Obama would be to blame for President Obama's inaction on Russian meddling. But you'd be wrong. It's Donald Trump's fault, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), told MSNBC's Ari Melber Monday.
"I'll say to you, Ari, I think one of the lessons learned is that we should have been straighter with the American people as soon as this interference campaign happened, but because candidate Trump had put it out there that the election was going to be rigged, that got in the head of Obama administration officials and they felt like if they said the Russians were interfering, that that would prove Donald Trump's theory right. There's a lot to be learned here," Swalwell said.
Trump may have used the word "rigged" on the campaign trail, but that doesn't excuse the fact that Obama had the intel that the Russians were interfering in our elections. He even told Russian President Vladimir Putin to "cut it out." Yet, Obama explained that he didn't do much more than that for fear of retaliation in the form of more hacking. "Thumping their chests" against the Russians would have had the opposite intended effect, he insisted.
For every Eric Swalwell blaming the Russian problem on Trump, there are plenty of other Democrats who had no problem calling out the Obama administration for doing little to nothing about the meddling.
"Given the seriousness of this, I think the administration needed to call out Russia earlier, needed to act to deter and punish Russia earlier, and I think that was a very serious mistake," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said.
Of course, today Schiff is accusing the Trump administration of trying to undermine the intelligence community and put the "government on trial" because they have something to hide.
Trump has dismissed the special counsel Russia investigation as a "witch hunt." When the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released their memo on surveillance abuses at the FBI, Trump said he had been "vindicated" from collusion claims. He declined to declassify the Democratic response because it would threaten national security, the White House said last week. If the Democrats add redactions, Trump will reconsider.