President Obama denied Sunday that his administration failed to anticipate the possibility that Russia might interfere in November’s election, MSN reported.
Obama was responding to accusations by intelligence officials that Russian leader Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking of Democratic officials’ computers in an attempt to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.
“I don’t think I underestimated him, 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,” the president told ABC News.
Obama explained that he directed the CIA, the national security director and other officials to investigate Russia’s actions during last year’s presidential campaign because “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.”
Without mentioning Trump’s name, the president declared that certain Republicans appear “to have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Americans because those fellow Americans were Democrats.” Obama added: “That cannot be. … We have to remind ourselves we’re on the same team. Vladimir Putin’s not on our team.”