'His intel officials appear to have been either distracted, conflicted or asleep at the switch'Former President Obama casts his ballot in 2012 election
The Russia investigation report from special counsel Robert Mueller concluded there wasn’t any collusion – at least on the part of President Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign, even though Russians did interfere.
Which raises the question of who made those allegations. Attorney General William Barr already has said he believes the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign, and he’s investigating.
But there’s another question: If there was improper interference by Russia, what did the Obama administration do to stop it, or why didn’t it do something to stop it?
Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson is addressing the questions confronting Obama and some of his top officials.
“The official reaction to it has begun to unfold as a Keystone Cops-type response by top Obama intel officials. They appear to have been so distracted by political motivations that they lost sight of the very danger they now claim threatens our democracy,” she wrote.
A blogger for the Twitter news-aggregator Twitchy wrote: “No matter how much the Left shrieks about Russia there is one very simple thing that none of them seem able to come to terms with and that is Obama was president if and when Russia ‘interfered’ with an election.
“They can shake their tiny little angry fists at Trump and Republicans but at the end of the day IF anything truly transpired it did so on Obama’s watch. You know, the guy who told a top Russian official that he’d have more flexibility after his election.”
Attkisson presents a list of “reasons why Russia election interference seems set to become the most enduring scandal of the Obama administration.”
She asks why, after the FBI in 2015 “supposedly detected successful efforts by Russian hackers to breach Democratic National Committee computers,” did they remain vulnerable to other attacks. At that time, too, the DNC “reportedly refused to allow the FBI to examine its servers.”
And the FBI failed to confiscate them.
“Obviously, when national security is at stake, the FBI does not need permission to examine evidence,” she said.
Then there was Obama’s insistence that “no serious person” would suggest America’s elections could be rigged.
“There’s no evidence that that has happened in the past or that there are instances in which that will happen this time,” he claimed.
His comment, Attkisson noted, came “smack dab in the middle of the supposed Russia targeting.”
Third, was the “woefully inadequate” actions in light of election interference. It seems both then-CIA Director John Brennan, whose security clearance later was revoked, and Obama warned Russians “not to interfere.” Warnings which “did not work.”
Further, while Obama officials informed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Russia was targeting the Trump campaign, they concealed that fact from the Trump campaign, Attkisson explained.
“Experts say legitimate efforts to protect national security typically would include notifying the supposed target of the spying,” she said. “The decision not to likewise loop in the Trump campaign regarding the supposed targeting suggests intel officials were not focused on protecting national security but hoping to entrap Trump campaign officials.”
Fifth, she said, was why the Obama administration, instead of going after Russians and working to protect the Trump campaign, targeted the Trump campaign, apparently using as a foundation “false or unverified information.”
And why, Attkisson asks, did Obama only go public with his fretting after Trump was elected?
Further, after Trump was elected, “some of the very Obama officials who failed to prevent Russian interference began a campaign of media leaks and deflection, pointing to Donald Trump and his associates.”
“These officials included FBI Director Comey, CIA Director Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, national security adviser Susan Rice and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power,” she wrote.
“As they investigated foreign interference, intel officials apparently overlooked the role of interests besides the Russians, including Russia’s adversary Ukraine and the British. Ex-British spy Christopher Steele built and peddled the anti-Trump ‘dossier.’ Former U.K. ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood had a November 2016 meeting with Sen. John McCain in Nova Scotia, where Wood told him about Steele’s anti-Trump dossier.”
Then there was the “admitted ‘collusion’ between Steele and Kremlin-connected Russians to provided opposition research against Trump – some of it false,” she said.
Obama’s intel officials, Attkisson wrote, “appear to have been either distracted, conflicted or asleep at the switch. … Whatever the case, they were inarguably ineffective.”