President Trump on Monday followed other Republican leaders in questioning why the Obama administration “failed to act” on the intelligence that Russia’s meddling in U.S. politics began in 2014.
“Obama was President up to, and beyond, the 2016 Election,” Trump tweeted. “So why didn’t he do something about Russian meddling?”
A federal grand jury on Friday indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election. The indictments are part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
Trump throughout the weekend often took to Twitter to address the indictment, claiming in three separate tweets that there was “no collusion” between Russians and his election campaign.
Republicans shared similar sentiments following the indictment, with California Rep. Devin Nunes arguing that “the Obama administration failed to act on the [House Intelligence Committee’s] warnings.” Nunes said he’s warned of Russia’s possible “influence” on campaigns since 2014.
Former U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, now a Fox News contributor, also suggested that the former administration failed to address Russian meddling when provided the intelligence. The indictment shows that former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper “weren’t on top” of the Russia threat, Chaffetz argued.
Trump also criticized his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, on Saturday after the official said the indictments undeniably showed that Russians meddled in U.S. elections.
“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems. Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!” the president tweeted.
Obama in late 2016 defended his administration’s response to the Russian involvement, saying he had confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin that September, telling him to “cut it out.”
The former administration also issued sanctions against Russia, ordered 35 Russian diplomats to leave the U.S. and shut down two Russian estates in the country.
Top U.S. intelligence officials confirmed to the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday they’ve already seen evidence of “pervasive” Russian meddling in the upcoming midterm elections.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas, Judson Berger, Joseph Weber and The Associated Press contributed to this report.