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."
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.
Trump's assertions are not true. But hey, at least he now acknowledges the Russians did it.
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.
Trump was warned before the election and during the transition that the Russians were tampering with our election systems. He did nothing.
Further, recall that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked Obama from publicly discussing Russian election hacking.
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?).
Trump won three of those states, and to date, evidence that vote totals were unaffected remains inconclusive.