The revelations, via FOIA and declassified documents and Congressional testimony and media reports and Mueller’s various indictments, are that the Obama administration knew about the rather feeble attempts of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election and did absolutely nothing.
For instance, from Mueller’s first indictment that had any relationship at all to his mission, that of thirteen Russian “hackers” and three Russian companies (one of which, inconveniently, didn’t even exist in 2016), we find that the federal counterintelligence agencies had been watching this group since 2013 and when some of them visited the US in 2015 they were shadowed by the FBI.
We know that in September 2016, Susan Rice issued a “stand down” order to National Security Council cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel in regards to defending against Russian cyber operations.
Why the administration was reluctant to drop the hammer on the Russians is pretty obvious. Obama viewed Russia, as he viewed Iran, as a counterweight to American influence. By making both these powers stronger within their sphere of influence, he reduced the ability of the United States to operate in those areas. He’d wooed the Russians from a very early point with the whole “reset” nonsense, pulling the plug on US ballistic missile defense sites in eastern Europe, and acquiescing to Russian adventurism in Moldova and Ukraine. In fact, when a Russian spy ring was busted as it insinuated its way into Hillary’s orbit, the members were simply deported rather than being subjected to a public trial and sentencing and serving some time in a federal prison.
The Obama administration literally tried to hit the reset button back in 2009, except they misspelled the button. Furthermore, Obama promised #Russia he'd have more "flexibility" after his re-election. President Trump is taking a different approach. @Uncle_Jimbo explains. pic.twitter.com/5XDrmy4mk1
— Security Studies Group (@SecStudiesGrp) July 15, 2018
Not only did Obama turn a blind eye to this crap, he actually enlisted the Russians to represent US interests in negotiating the Iran nuclear deal and invited them into Syria for reasons that remain obscure if one rules out Obama being a Russian agent-in-place.
The bottom line reason was that the Obama administration expected Hillary Clinton to win. They knew the Russian operations were largely bullsh** and had no electoral influence. And they didn’t want Obama’s successor to be confronted with a nasty diplomatic spat with Russia over their actions.
But the questions are mounting, and now the Obama alumni association has sent out America’s Rain Man, goofy Uncle Joe Biden, to start a counter-narrative.
Joe Biden said Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stopped the Obama administration from speaking out about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign by refusing to sign on to a bipartisan statement of condemnation.
That moment, the former Democratic vice president said, made him think “the die had been cast … this was all about the political play.”
Biden said he and former President Barack Obama worried that without a united front of bipartisanship, speaking out before the election would undermine the legitimacy of the election and American institutions in a way that would play into the Russians’ larger ambitions.
“Can you imagine if the president called a press conference in October, with this fella, Bannon, and company, and said, ‘Tell you what: Russians are trying to interfere in our elections and we have to do something about it,’” Biden said. “What do you think would have happened? Would things have gotten better, or would it further look like we were trying to delegitimize the electoral process, because of our opponent?”
But a former Obama White House official on Tuesday afternoon echoed Biden’s frustration with the Senate majority leader, pointing to the way Obama’s White House chief of staff Denis McDonough described the dispute in an op-ed last summer.
“Our administration’s interest in making sure the response was bipartisan wasn’t for the sake of being bipartisan. It was necessary because we needed the buy-in from state and local election administrators (many of whom were Republican partisans and/or skeptical of federal government),” the official argued in an email. “Unfortunately, as is well documented, Senator McConnell was unwilling to help — only making matters worse.”
Biden told Tuesday’s gathering that there was a “constant tightrope,” with the Obama administration unable to decide what would count as saying too little or too much.
“The president and I would sit there literally after the [presidential daily briefing], after everyone had left the room, and say, ‘What the hell are we going to do?’” Biden recalled.
Notice the clever conflation of “doing something” with “speaking out.” In 2016, any elected Republican who trusted anything said by Barack Obama should have been medicated and institutionalized. There is zero doubt that the Obama administration “speaking out” would have been a raw, partisan activity. Moreover, the nation knew that and the reason they didn’t “speak out” is because they knew this would signal to everyone that the Clinton campaign was on the ropes and Obama was trying to save her. Beyond that, what would the message have been? “Don’t read Facebook posts?”
The question left unanswered by Amtrak Joe is why the administration failed to act. Why was a stand down order give? Why were Russian operatives monitored in the US and allowed to go about their business? But, as I pointed out earlier, we all know the reason for that. The Russian meddling in the 2016 election was a) minor, b) juvenile, c) ineffective, and d) everyone knew Hillary was going to win.