President Donald Trump on Saturday blamed the Obama administration for the actions of 12 Russian military officials indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for hacking the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.
“The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration,” the president wrote on Twitter. “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?”
In another tweet, Trump asked, “Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t the FBI take possession of it?” Deep State?”
Following Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s announcement of the indictment Friday — which does not allege that any U.S. citizen committed a crime — the White House said the indictments were further evidence that Trump’s campaign did not coordinate with Moscow.
“Today’s charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said. “This is consistent with what we have been saying all along.”
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, said the indictment proved Trump was innocent of any wrongdoing in the run-up to the election and called on Mueller to halt the Russia probe.
“The indictments Rod Rosenstein announced are good news for all Americans,” Giuliani said. “The Russians are nailed. No Americans are involved. Time for Mueller to end this pursuit of the President and say President Trump is completely innocent.”
The Obama administration in October 2016 took the unprecedented step of accusing Russia of deploying hackers to meddle in the presidential race. Two months after the election, at Obama’s request, intelligence agencies including the CIA, FBI and NSA issued a declassified report stating with “high confidence” that Russia was responsible for the data breach.
Obama also said he personally told Russian President Vladimir Putin in September 2016 to “cut it out” in regard to the Kremlin’s attempts to undermine American electoral processes.
On Saturday, the president was golfing Scotland at Trump Turnberry, his luxury resort outside Glasgow, following several days of diplomacy abroad that included a combative appearance at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, and a trip to England to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II. On Monday, Trump is set to meet one-on-one with Putin during a highly anticipated summit in Helsinki, Finland.