The White House on Monday told reporters they should “look at the Obama administration” if they “want to blame somebody” for Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
After National Security Agency director Adm. Mike Rogers told the Senate armed services committee Tuesday that President Trump has not yet directed his department to work to thwart Russian threats to the 2018 election, reporters peppered White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders with questions about why Trump hasn’t yet given Rogers authority to prevent impending 2018 election cyber attacks.
Sanders argued that the White House is “looking at a number of different options” on combatting Russian threats and touted a move by the State Department last week to devote $40 million “to the global engagement center to begin providing immediate support to private and public partners that expose and counter Russian and Chinese propaganda and disinformation.”
“He is in charge of the cyber command, why not give him the authority?” ABC News’ Jonathan Karl asked.
Sanders pushed back, claiming “nobody is denying him the authority” to foil attacks and then pivoted to say Trump has been “tougher on Russia than his predecessor.”
“Let’s not forget this happened under President Obama, it didn’t happen under President Trump,” she said. “If you want to blame somebody on past problems, then you need to look at the Obama administration. The President is looking at all the different causes and all the different ways that we can prevent it.”
The question comes after Trump went on a Twitter tirade Tuesday morning, live blogging quotes from Fox News about the Russia investigation, and ending the rant by simply declaring “WITCH HUNT!”
This is quite, quite bizarre. pic.twitter.com/Dr2o2alKNZ
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 27, 2018