President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at his predecessor, Barack Obama, following revelations within Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report that Trump's presidential campaign knowingly benefited from Russian election interference in 2016.
"The investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts," the report states. Mueller could not establish, however, that the Trump campaign participated in a coordinated effort with the Russians.
Trump saw this as an opportunity to stick it to Obama.
"Anything the Russians did concerning the 2016 Election was done while Obama was President," Trump tweeted. "He was told about it and did nothing! Most importantly, the vote was not affected."
Anything the Russians did concerning the 2016 Election was done while Obama was President. He was told about it and… https://t.co/adGILtxyRC— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1555630103.0
Note that the president is deflecting blame onto Obama for not stopping the Russians from meddling in an election he won.
He is terrified of being viewed as illegitimate. This is peak Trump.
@realDonaldTrump Only an illegitimate president would talk like this.— Marco (@Marco)1555679520.0
@realDonaldTrump Aw, buddy. I don't think your "Obama did it" game is gonna cut it this time but thanks for playing. https://t.co/b2QdzGXAuo— Kaz Weida (@Kaz Weida)1555630465.0
@realDonaldTrump When all else fails, blame the black guy!— Translate Trump (@Translate Trump)1555630207.0
@realDonaldTrump you just know that a hyperventilating Donald Trump just got off the phone with Hannity and this is… https://t.co/0qnF972nF0— Jeff Tiedrich (@Jeff Tiedrich)1555630233.0
@realDonaldTrump https://t.co/HmwPYadBtS— Navy Mom 🆘 🌊 (@Navy Mom 🆘 🌊)1555636672.0
Trump's assertions are not true. But hey, at least he now acknowledges the Russians did it.
@realDonaldTrump You were told about it ... & you encouraged them. Obama tried to warn voters. Your pal McTurtle re… https://t.co/DxdsKcFTlI— Khashoggi’s Ghost (@Khashoggi’s Ghost)1555630492.0
Obama did, in fact, take action.
In December 2016, Obama expelled 35 Russian nationals after Russian election tampering efforts were confirmed by American intelligence agencies. He also imposed sanctions in response to the Russian attack on the election.
@realDonaldTrump He imposed sanctions which Michael Flynn secretly discussed lifting with the Russian ambassador. P… https://t.co/uee08HYUSQ— Jacob T. Levy (@Jacob T. Levy)1555636166.0
@realDonaldTrump He sanctioned the Russians. You’ve known the same things he did as well. What have you done? Oh,… https://t.co/N2VWAqnCMV— Eric Vitiello (@Eric Vitiello)1555686891.0
@realDonaldTrump @BarackObama, a legitimate president, expelled 35 Russian nationals, closed 2 Russian compounds &… https://t.co/KTEd2TaRQt— Joel Ayala (@Joel Ayala)1555687549.0
Trump was warned before the election and during the transition that the Russians were tampering with our election systems. He did nothing.
@realDonaldTrump You're such a liar, little Donny. Obama expelled 35 Russian nationals, closed two Russian compou… https://t.co/kSgXS8f6w0— Jack Schofield (@Jack Schofield)1555688233.0
@realDonaldTrump STOP blaming Obama and do something about Russia now. You are the one who looked stupid and stood… https://t.co/zq73xURD5H— Angelique Parks (@Angelique Parks)1555687583.0
Further, recall that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked Obama from publicly discussing Russian election hacking.
@realDonaldTrump Mitch McConnell kept it secret from the American people. Quit trying to blame a real President for… https://t.co/5vTJWDCnoF— Andrew Goss 👊USAF👊 (@Andrew Goss 👊USAF👊)1555644701.0
@realDonaldTrump Mitch McConnell refused to protect the country.— Æch253 (@Æch253)1555684246.0
And finally, we know that Trump's former campaign chair Paul Manafort shared polling data from four swing states with Konstantin Kilimnik, a man connected to Russian intelligence (no collusion though, right?).
@realDonaldTrump It is highly likely the vote was affected. Manafort specifically asked for help in the battlegrou… https://t.co/cbUHPZgMH7— David Rothkopf (@David Rothkopf)1555630316.0
@realDonaldTrump #TrumpColluded Manafort gave PA, MI, WI & MN polling data to Russians GRU agent. BARR: As long as… https://t.co/no0wQzjJIK— Puesto Loco™ (@Puesto Loco™)1555631801.0
@realDonaldTrump There is no evidence that the vote was not affected. We don’t know either way and probably can never know for sure.— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti)1555630163.0
Trump won three of those states, and to date, evidence that vote totals were unaffected remains inconclusive.