Obama: We Will Take Action on Russian Hacking

He accuses GOP of hypocrisy over Moscow interference
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2016 4:10 AM CST
Obama: We Will Take Action on Russian Hacking
President Obama listens to questions during a news conference at the White House last month.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Obama says America will "take action" in response to Russian election hacking, and he's aiming to have an official White House report on the matter before Donald Trump takes office next month. Action needs to be taken "when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections," the president told NPR in a Morning Edition interview. "And we will—at a time and place of our own choosing," he said. "Some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be." It's clear that the hackers created "more problems for the Clinton campaign than it had for the Trump campaign," Obama said, though he didn't endorse the CIA's claim that Russia worked to get Trump elected, and he made it clear he wasn't suggesting that the Trump campaign did anything more than exploit the leaks for its own benefit.

Obama accused Republicans of hypocrisy over the issue. "For most of my presidency, there's been a pretty sizable wing of the Republican Party that has consistently criticized me for not being tough enough on Russia," he said. "Some of those folks during the campaign endorsed Donald Trump, despite the fact that a central tenet of his foreign policy was we shouldn't be so tough on Russia. And that kind of inconsistency, I think, makes it appear, at least, that their particular position on Russia on any given day depends on what's politically expedient." Democrats and Republicans including Trump have criticized Obama for not acting sooner. Sources tell NBC News that the administration didn't respond more forcefully before the election because they believed Hillary Clinton was going to win despite Russian interference. (NBC's sources also say Vladimir Putin was personally involved.)

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