Ranking House Democrat On Intel Committee: Obama Fumbled The Ball On Russia

Posted: Jun 30, 2017 2:00 PM

Every day more and more Democrats are saying that President Obama fumbled the ball on the Russian meddling during the 2016 election. The Washington Post dropped a bombshell report that the Obama administration knew well in advance of Russia’s interference campaign, but hesitated on how to respond. It also pointed out that it seemed the Obama White House was afraid of Russia and what they would do if they reacted strongly. In the end, they booted a few suspected Russian operatives, closed a couple of their compounds, and enacted sanctions that had a de minimis effect. Russia views this as a slap on the wrist and Obama failed miserably in deterring similar action in the future. Yet, Obama did nothing when Russia annexed Ukraine and did nothing when Russia elbowed their way into Syria. They read him like a book and his reaction was no different in this instance. Liberals criticized Bush for him sitting while school children listened to a rendition of “The Pet Goat” when the nation was under attack on 9/11. Obama dropped the ball for weeks on how to respond to Russia.

On CBS’ Face The Nation last weekend, former acting CIA Director Michael Morell did say that Obama did a good job coordinating with other states to protect their voting systems, but ceded the battlefield to Vladimir Putin when he sat on this information. President Trump tweeted why there was no response from the Obama administration on Russia's meddling. There seems to be a rare moment of agreement between Trump and some congressional Democrats: Obama should have done more. Now, we have ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) saying that President Obama more or less fumbled the ball on Russia (via CNN):

 The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee said Sunday he believed the Obama administration should have taken bolder action in response to intelligence reports about Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 election.

"I think the Obama administration should have done a lot more when it became clear that not only was Russia intervening, but it was being directed at the highest levels of the Kremlin," Rep. Adam Schiff said on CNN's "State of the Union."

The California Democrat said in the lead-up to the presidential election that both he and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, repeatedly pressed the administration to speak out about Russia's activity. He said former President Barack Obama's decision not to take action ahead of the election was a political calculation, and one he disagreed with at the time.

"The American people needed to know," Schiff said.

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) has also said President Obama should have done more with regards to Russian meddling.