President Trump blamed Barack Obama for failing to prevent Russia’s hack attack on Democratic email servers in a tweetstorm that also fanned the flames of a “deep state” conspiracy theory.
“The stories you hear about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama administration, not the Trump administration,” the President tweeted, referencing the Friday indictments of a dozen Russian military officers for a hacking scheme aimed at undermining the 2016 presidential election. He added: “Why didn’t they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?”
Obama did privately confront Russian leader Vladimir Putin about the digital attack in September 2016, but Trump declared Obama could’ve done more.
“These Russian individuals did their work during the Obama years,” he tweeted later. “Why didn’t Obama do something about it? Because he thought crooked Hillary would win, that’s why. Had nothing to do with the Trump administration, but Fake News doesn’t want to report the truth as usual!” He also brought up an unsourced theory about the Democratic National Committee server, tweeting: “Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t the FBI take possession of it? Deep state?”
GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, who has been accused of turning a blind eye to sexual assault as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State, alleged the allegations were manufactured by the “deep state.” And when Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson sparked backlash for spending thousands on a dining room set for his office, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) similarly pointed to the mysterious entity.
Hours before the indictments were announced Friday, Trump vowed to push Putin on what he referred to as “meddling” during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May. While his remarks did come first, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he briefed the President on the indictments before he left Washington at the start of the week.
“I will absolutely bring that up,” the President said Friday morning. “I don’t think you’ll have any ‘Gee, I did it. You got me.’ There won’t be any Perry Mason here, I don’t think,” he said. “But I will absolutely firmly ask the question.”
Trump is slated to sit down with Putin for a summit in the Finnish Capital, Helsinki, on Monday despite tensions over Moscow’s alleged election meddling. Until then, Trump will remain in Scotland, where is spending the weekend at his resort there.
“I have arrived in Scotland and will be at Trump Turnberry for two days of meetings, calls and hopefully, some golf – my primary form of exercise!” he tweeted. “The weather is beautiful and this place is incredible!”