Posted: 6:56 am Friday, December 16th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
While Democrats in recent days have demanded a full public investigation of Russian involvement in hacks of Democratic Party officials and campaign workers of Hillary Clinton in 2016, President-Elect Donald Trump continues to turn that argument back on Democrats and the White House, raising questions about post-election sour grapes.
“Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?” Mr. Trump tweeted on Thursday.
If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2016
Unless you catch "hackers" in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before election?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
The President-Elect continued to mock the reaction of Democrats before sunrise on Friday morning.
Are we talking about the same cyberattack where it was revealed that head of the DNC illegally gave Hillary the questions to the debate?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2016
Some Republicans have joined Mr. Trump to criticize the Obama Administration, arguing there was a reason why nothing was done before the election about the Russian election meddling.
“Simple answer,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who argued that President “Obama has responded to every provocation for 8 years in the same way: weakness.”
A handful of Republicans have endorsed the idea of a broader special committee in Congress or independent commission to look at what Russia did, but that still seems unlikely at this point, as the GOP argues regular committees in the House and Senate can do that job just fine.
The answer that seems to come out of the White House on why nothing was done, is that they thought Clinton would win – so there was no reason to raise a big public fuss before the election about the Russian actions.
In NPR interview, Obama uses war language — "time and place of our choosing" — to describe how US will retaliate for Russian hacking.
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) December 16, 2016
President Obama is expected to be asked about the Russia situation on Friday afternoon at his year-end news conference; White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest this week steadily stepped up public criticism of Republicans and Mr. Trump over the Russia situation.
As for what the President should do with so little time left in office, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul says Mr. Obama should lay out the record in public.
“As Obama now responds to Russia interference in our elections, the one action over which he has control is declassification of the intel,” McFaul said.
POTUS can declassify any intel he likes. If you're upset about not knowing facts of Russian spy-games, blame Obama — not Congress or #GOP.
— John Schindler (@20committee) December 15, 2016
Mr. Obama holds a final news conference for 2016 at 2:15 pm ET.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.