President Obama insisted Sunday that his administration did not drop the ball by failing to understand the threat Russian leader Vladimir Putin might pose to last year’s presidential election.
MSN reported that Obama made the comment on ABC’s “This Week,” in response to an intelligence director’s report that Putin ordered the hacking of Democratic officials’ emails to improve Donald Trump’s chances of winning the Nov. 8 vote.
“I don’t think I underestimated (Putin), but I think that I underestimated the degree to which, in this new information age, it is possible for misinformation, for cyber hacking and so forth, to have an impact on our open societies, our open systems, to insinuate themselves into our democratic practices in ways that I think are accelerating,” Obama told ABC News host George Stephanopoulos.
The president said he directed his administration’s intelligence director to investigate the cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager “to make sure that we understand this is something that Putin has been doing for quite some time in Europe, initially in the former satellite states where there are a lot of Russian speakers, but increasingly in Western democracies.”
After meeting with Brennan and other intelligence officials on Friday, Trump argued that any hacking by foreign operatives during the White House race did not alter the results.