Trump questioned why Barack Obama had not acted on claims of Russian meddling if the FBI had informed the then president ahead of the 2016 election. Jonah Green reports.
After a federal grand jury indicted 12 Russian military operatives for hacking Americans in an effort to subvert the democratic process, Trump on Saturday blamed, who else, Barack Obama.
(Reuters, Host TV, BBC, Twitter, UK Pool, Restricted Pool) – Trump spent Saturday golfing on his eponymous course in Turnberry, Scotland, where he was met by jeering protesters, and where he tweeted, “The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration. Why didn’t they do something about it” and also “Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t the FBI take possession of it? Deep State?”
Missing was any condemnation of Russia’s alleged effort to meddle in the 2016 election with a wide-ranging conspiracy involving sophisticated hacking and staged releases of documents – all in an effort to help elect Trump.
Friday’s indictment, secured by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, was the first that directly charges the Russian government with meddling in the election, which Trump unexpectedly won. The Kremlin denies interfering.
The announcement of the indictment came at an awkward time for Trump, who was meeting Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle for tea.
Trump at that point was already briefed on the indictment, and yet during his trip to the UK he said this of the Mueller investigation:
In light of the news democrats have called on Trump to cancel the summit with Putin, but the White House said Monday’s meet is still on. Of the allegations of election meddling, Trump promised to “firmly ask” Putin about it.