With a little over a month left in his term, Obama is trying to sound like he has a pair:
President Barack Obama is promising that the U.S. will retaliate against Russia for its suspected meddling in America’s election process, an accusation the Kremlin has vehemently denied.
Amid calls on both sides of the political aisle on Capitol Hill for a full-bore congressional investigation, including assertions President Vladimir Putin was personally involved, Obama said in an interview that anytime a foreign government tries to interfere in U.S. elections, the nation must take action “and we will at a time and place of our own choosing.”
“Some of it may be explicit and publicized, some of it may not be,” he told NPR News Thursday. “But Mr. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it.”
White House officials said it was “fact” that Russian hacking helped Donald Trump’s campaign against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Administration officials on Thursday also assailed Trump himself, saying he must have known of Russia’s interference. Obama was to hold a news conference at the White House on Friday afternoon.
No proof was offered for any of the accusations, the latest to unsettle America’s uneasy transition from eight years under Obama to a new Republican administration led by Trump. The claims of Russian meddling in the election also have heightened already debilitating tensions between Washington and Moscow over Syria, Ukraine and a host of other disagreements.
Sarah Palin can hear Vlad laughing from her front porch.
But wait! There’s more!
Hillary Clinton said Thursday night that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged involvement in the hacking of Democratic organizations during the 2016 election stemmed from a longtime grudge Putin has held against her.
Meanwhile, her campaign chairman, John Podesta, issued a scathing rebuke of the FBI, writing in a Washington Post op-ed that “something is deeply broken” at the bureau.
According to sources who were present, she did not mention President-elect Donald Trump, but her comments reacting to news that the United States intelligence assessment of the 2016 hacking suggests Putin was involved was seen in the room as an implicit knock against the President-elect.
One of the sources said Clinton reacted to recent news by saying that she was proud as secretary of state to have defended democracy when confronted by the Russian president.
She also said Putin held a grudge against her stemming from Clinton’s comments about Russia’s 2011 parliamentary elections. Clinton issued a sharp critique of Russia’s parliamentary elections as secretary of state, suggesting that the elections were not free and fair. Putin then blamed Clinton for protests that broke out afterward.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes on Wednesday blasted as “unacceptable” the refusal of the FBI, CIA and National Intelligence directors to brief his panel on the Russian cyber attacks that occurred during the presidential campaign.
Nunes had requested that National Intelligence Director James Clapper, with participation from FBI Director James Comey and CIA Director John Brennan, brief committee members in a closed session on Thursday. That briefing has now been cancelled.
The California Republican, in a letter sent to Clapper on Monday, said he wanted clarification about why the CIA is now saying that Russian hacks of political campaign committees earlier this year appeared to be aimed at helping President-elect Donald Trump and hurting Democrat Hillary Clinton. Nunes pointed to testimony from Clapper in a public hearing in November that the Intelligence Community lacked the evidence to draw such a conclusion.
“It is unacceptable that the Intelligence Community directors would not fulfill the House Intelligence Committee’s request to be briefed tomorrow on the cyber-attacks that occurred during the presidential campaign,” Nunes said in a statement released Wednesday night. “The legislative branch is constitutionally vested with oversight responsibility of executive branch agencies, which are obligated to comply with our requests.”
If Obama has proof that the Russians hacked our election he should request a joint session of Congress and present the evidence to the American people. Put up or shut up. A Friday afternoon presser a week before Christmas won’t cut it.
Last but not least, here is some must-see television: