The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam Schiff criticized former President Barack Obama for his response to intelligence reports that the Russian president was working to elect Donald Trump, Politico reports.
Schiff, speaking on CNN, was asked about a June 23 article in The Washington Post that said Obama was told in August 2016 that Russian President Vladimir Putin was working to elect the Republican nominee.
“The Obama administration needed to call out Russia earlier, and needed to act to deter and punish Russia earlier, and I think that was a very serious mistake. The Obama administration should have done more when it became clear that not only was Russia intervening, but it was being directed at the highest levels of the Kremlin”, Schiff said.
He added that “the fear of being perceived as interfering with the U.S. election likely weighed on Obama”. The former President’s administration was also concerned about conflating Trump’s narrative that the election was going to be rigged, he said.
“But both of those factors did not outweigh, in my view and, I argued this at the time, did not outweigh the public’s need to know. The American people needed