Washington Post – House intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes accused Mr. Obama of not taking Russia’s cyberthreat seriously until now, a month before he leave office, when Democratic Party politics are involved.
“Russia’s cyberattacks are no surprise to the House intelligence committee, which has been closely monitoring Russia’s belligerence for years,” Mr. Nunes said. “As I’ve said many times, the intelligence community has repeatedly failed to anticipate [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s hostile actions.
“Unfortunately, the Obama administration, dedicated to delusions of ‘resetting’ relations with Russia, ignored pleas by numerous intelligence committee members to take more forceful action against the Kremlin’s aggression. It appears, however, that after eight years the administration has suddenly awoken to the threat,” said Mr. Nunes, California Republican.
CIA Director John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s former campaign adviser and White House aide, has taken the extraordinary step of having his agency add to the climate of illegitimacy Democrats are trying to wrap around the Republican president-elect.
The Washington Post reported last week that CIA briefers told senators that Mr. Putin had ordered the hacking to help elect Mr. Trump, who sporadically has praised the former KGB officer as a stronger leader than Mr. Obama.
The CIA assessment goes well beyond a statement by James R. Clapper, director of national intelligence. He told the House intelligence committee on Nov. 17 that his agency does not have good intelligence on any link between the Putin regime and WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website that published emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and from John Podesta, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman.
Mr. Clapper assessed Russia’s motives as a desire to “interfere” in elections in the West, as it has done in Europe. He did not say it was designed to get Mr. Trump elected.
Former CIA officer Kent Clizbe charges that Mr. Brennan has politicized the spy agency, and with the hacking brief to Congress, even more so today.
“But all the politicization of the CIA of the previous eight years is nothing compared to Brennan’s current operation — his vile use of the good name of the CIA in an attempt to invalidate our presidential election,” Mr. Clizbe said. “Brennan’s misuse of the CIA in an effort to serve his political masters is unprecedented and unforgivable. These are the actions of totalitarian dictators, using foreign security services to sully political opponents. Someone needs to stop him before it’s too late.”
Mr. Earnest, the White House press secretary, was asked Monday what the administration did to thwart Russia from hacking U.S. sites.
“Our intelligence community, our national security agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, were closely watching Russia’s malicious cyberactivity,” he said. “There was an ongoing investigation. It was being investigated. It was being closely watched in order to protect our democracy.”
Mr. Earnest unleashed a long attack on Mr. Trump, a recitation that might be unprecedented for a White House during what is supposed to be a smooth transition.
Is anyone surprised by this? A weak administration fearing being made weaker an tarnishing it’s already soiled legacy, the lame-duck Obama administration is doing exactly what we thought. Retreating back into it’s ample shell and leaving the real responsibility to somebody else. The Russian hacking is a problem but we will soon have a leader who will have the desire and the international connections to fix the problem. Trump’s relationship with Putin will be decisive in ending this threat.
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