News

White House

Rosenstein Calls Out Obama Admin For Failing to ‘Publicize’ Russian Election Interference

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 4, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

During a private speech Thursday evening, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein lamented the Obama administration’s decision not to “publicize” Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

Rosenstein, who oversaw special counsel Robert Mueller’s recently-concluded investigation into Russian election interference, suggested that the Obama administration did the public a disservice by not publicly revealing “the full story” of the Kremlin’s attempt to disrupt the election while adequate counter-measures could have been taken.

“Some critical decisions about the Russia investigation were made before I got there. The previous Administration chose not to publicize the full story about Russian computer hackers and social media trolls, and how they relate to a broader strategy to undermine America,” Rosenstein said during an address to the Public Servants Dinner of the Armenian Bar Association.

Rosenstein went on to criticize former FBI director James Comey for his decision to reveal the existence of a counterintelligence investigation into Russian election interference at the height of the 2016 campaign.

“The FBI disclosed classified evidence about the investigation to ranking legislators and their staffers. Someone selectively leaked details to the news media. The FBI Director announced at a congressional hearing that there was a counterintelligence investigation that might result in criminal charges,” he continued. “Then the former FBI Director alleged that the President pressured him to close the investigation, and the President denied that the conversation occurred.”

Obama administration officials elected not to publicize the extent of the Kremlin’s interference efforts because they believed they would be seen to be tilting the scales toward Hillary Clinton by exposing Russia’s preference for Trump, NBC News reported in December 2016. Their confidence in Clinton’s victory also bolstered their belief that alarming the public about election interference would prove unnecessary.

 

Most Popular

Film & TV

The Manly Appeal of Ford v Ferrari

There used to be a lot of overlap between what we think of as a Hollywood studio picture (designed to earn money) and an awards movie (designed to fill the trophy case, usually with an accompanying loss of money). Ford v Ferrari is a glorious throwback to the era when big stars did quality movies about actual ... Read More
Politics & Policy

ABC Chief Political Analyst: GOP Rep. Stefanik a ‘Perfect Example’ of the Failures of Electing Someone ‘Because They Are a Woman’

Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst for ABC News, suggested that Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) was elected due to her gender after taking issue with Stefanik's line of questioning during the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday. “Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing ... Read More
White House

Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’

When it comes to Russia, I am with what Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman calls the American “policy community.” Vindman, of course, is one of the House Democrats’ star impeachment witnesses. His haughtiness in proclaiming the policy community and his membership in it grates, throughout his 340-page ... Read More
Law & the Courts

DACA’s Day in Court

When President Obama unilaterally changed immigration policy after repeatedly and correctly insisting that he lacked the constitutional power to do it, he said that congressional inaction had forced his hand. In the case of his first major unilateral move — “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” which ... Read More
White House

Impeachment and the Broken Truce

The contradiction at the center of American politics in Anno Domini 2019 is this: The ruling class does not rule. The impeachment dog-and-pony show in Washington this week is not about how Donald Trump has comported himself as president (grotesquely) any more than early convulsions were about refreshed ... Read More