This morning former CIA Director Michael Morell had an interesting question for the Obama administration on today’s episode of CBS This Morning. If Russian interference during the 2016 election was such a serious problem, what did they do to stop it? Morell, who was acting CIA director prior to John Brennan’s confirmation during Obama’s second term, noted that his successor said that interference from Russia was a big problem, and that he contacted his Russian counterparts to tell them to cut it out. Russia obviously ignored him.
“It appears they did nothing,” said co-host Norah O’Donnell.
“It appears they did nothing,” replied Morell.
This isn’t the only time the Obama White House balked at revealing the extent of Russian interference. While he’s been raked over the coals by both sides, James Comey, who was fired by President Trump earlier this month as FBI director, wanted to write an op-ed about the interference last summer. President Obama, who said that it would play into Russia’s hands and cast doubt on the election, stopped him. This was all documented in a lengthy New York Times piece about Mr. Comey’s course of action throughout the 2016 campaign. In October of 2016, when the Obama White House wanted to issue a statement about Russian meddling, Mr. Comey pushed back, saying it was a) unnecessary to comment now since the news cycle was now focused on it; and b) it would make the FBI look (again) like it was acting in a partisan manner. Also included in the piece is then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch telling James Comey to not call the FBI’s email probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails an “investigation,” but we can rehash that some other time.
So, what happened here? Obama didn’t have to listen to Mr. Comey regarding the October meeting about the Russian meddling. In fact, this torpid response to the accusation is reportedly why Mrs. Clinton is angrier with Obama than Russia or the FBI concerning her 2016 loss.
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