Trump Tries to Shift Blame

WASHINGTON — Attempting to shift the blame for Russian interference in the 2016 election, President Trump suggested in Twitter posts on Tuesday that the previous administration did not do enough to prevent the Kremlin’s influence campaign and that President Barack Obama was dismissive of the threat.

In the tweet, Mr. Trump quoted Mr. Obama from an October 2016 news conference.

Mr. Trump is coming off a three-day holiday weekend spent mulling the special counsel’s recent indictment of 13 Russians and three companies accused of mounting an influence campaign with the goal of affecting the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The indictment and a 2017 report from United States intelligence agencies said that the Russians ultimately wanted Mr. Trump to win.

At the time of Mr. Obama’s remarks, his administration was deep into investigating the Russian interference.

Two days before Mr. Obama’s remarks in October 2016, the F.B.I. had obtained a secret search warrant on a former Trump campaign associate, and some of the Russians who were charged last week used one of their social media accounts to discourage Americans from voting for Mrs. Clinton. “[A] particular hype and hatred for Trump is misleading the people and forcing Blacks to vote Killary. We cannot resort to the lesser of two devils. Then we’d surely be better off without voting AT ALL,” the court documents said in offering an example of the social media dialogue.

In another Twitter post on Tuesday, Mr. Trump said his administration has been “much tougher” on Russia than the Obama administration, even though in his 13 months in office he has done little to confront the threat of election interference. Mr. Trump has said that he does not believe Russia meddled during the 2016 election, contradicting the conclusion of his own national security team.

And some state election officials say they are not getting what they need from the Trump administration to protect the integrity of the votes, even as intelligence officials told Congress last week that they have seen evidence of Russian attempts to interfere with the midterm elections later this year.

Continue reading the main story


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather