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Former U.S. President Barack Obama and former FBI Director James Comey attend Comey’s installation ceremony at the FBI’s headquarters, Washington, Oct. 28, 2013 (AP photo by Charles Dharapak).

What Obama’s Response to Russian Election Interference Really Reveals

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Washington Post exposé published Friday revealed new insights into the Obama administration’s real-time reaction to mounting evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The administration’s agonizing efforts to find a commensurate response, while avoiding escalation and the perception it was seeking to influence the election, will be interpreted through a mean-spirited partisan prism. That’s too bad, because there are sober lessons about politics and policymaking that should be considered across the partisan divide.

The Obama administration struggled to find appropriate countermeasures to Russian meddling in the final weeks of its time in office, according to the Washington Post’s new reporting. The report tracks the intense debates about how to respond once the intelligence community provided former President Barack Obama very sensitive evidence about the extent of Russia’s efforts to help Donald Trump get elected. Nearly every option ran the risk of provoking charges that the president was acting to achieve a political outcome, rather than to protect national interests. ...

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