MinnPost readers are smart and well-informed and I often benefit from reading the comment threads under my posts.
This morning’s post mocked a certain current POTUS about a recent attack by the Trump political operation blaming former President Barack Obama for allowing the Russians to influence the 2016 election in favor of well – that same current POTUS. This is not a joke. See the Black Ink post of this morning,
I had forgotten the details about whether and why Obama might have done such a thing. But in reading the comments just now, I got a reminder, which I’m hereby passing along for the benefit of those who may not read the discussion threads.
President Obama had intelligence indicating that Russia was using various efforts to help Donald Trump win. He wanted to make it public, but was concerned that, as a Democrat himself but also the POTUS and the most important recipient of such intelligence, it would look partisan and unseemly to make the intelligence finding public unless he had backing to do so from congressional leaders of both parties.
Mitch McConnell, the leader of Senate Republicans, refused to sign a statement condemning the Russian efforts. Obama, for good or ill, chose not to go public.
Politico ran a recent piece that goes over the matter. It quotes then-Vice President Joe Biden, who was in the middle of the effort to get bipartisan condemnation. Biden said that soon after Election Day, more intelligence clarified how extensive the Russian effort had been, and suggested that if that intelligence had been available sooner “we may have done something more,” to expose what the Russians were doing.
Thank you, commenter Brian Mann for alerting me to that piece of the story.
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About the author:
Eric BlackVeteran journalist Eric Black writes Eric Black Ink for MinnPost. His latest award is from the Society of Professional Journalists, which in May 2017 announced he’d won the national Sigma Delta Chi Award for online column writing.