Members of the Obama administration were notified of Russian election interference as early as 2014, but hesitated to act on the intelligence because “nobody wanted to piss off the Russians,” according to a new report from Politico.
US officials confirm Obama and his team were notified of multiple attempts by Russian hackers to influence elections throughout Europe and Asia, and would likely meddle in the 2016 US general election.
The White House was informed of the Kremlin’s secret plans back in 2014, with one analyst writing, “You have no idea how extensive these networks are in Europe … and in the U.S., Russia has penetrated media organizations, lobbying firms, political parties, governments and militaries in all of these places.”
The intelligence was distributed throughout the highest levels of the Obama administration, including the National Security Council, but was never acted upon by senior aides.
“The truth is, nobody wanted to piss off the Russians,” said an intelligence official familiar with the circumstances.
The Obama administration has been under scrutiny in recent months as more and more evidence comes to light suggesting the former President “choked” in his handling of Russian election interference.
“Well I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it,” President Trump told Fox News in June. “But nobody wants to talk about that.”