A 54-page bipartisan report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday claims that Barack Obama‘s administration “inadvertently” helped Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, Newsweek reports.
According to the report, the Obama administration’s “constrained” response — which stemmed from various factors — is what ultimately led to it’s unintentional aid of Russian interference efforts.
In a statement on the findings, Republican Sen. Richard Burr, the committee’s chairman, addressed the reported failures of the Obama administration outlined in the report.
“Frozen by ‘paralysis of analysis,’ hamstrung by constraints both real and perceived, Obama officials debated courses of action without truly taking one,” the statement reads.
Although Burr noted the Obama administration’s concerns were “understandable,” he nevertheless noted the beneficial impact their decision making had on the opportunity for Russian interference.
“In navigating those valid concerns, however. Obama officials made decisions that limited their options, including preventing internal information-sharing and siloing cyber and geopolitical threats.”
Although Politico reports that the Obama administration issued multiple warnings of “potential retaliation” to Moscow, the Kremlin reportedly continued its interference efforts, which included social media influence operations, stolen emails, and “penetration of state voting infrastructure.”
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner noted the flaws in the U.S. government’s response to the 2016 attack but claimed that many stemmed from “problems with our own system.” He also suggested that the Obama’ administration’s fear that warning the public of Russian interference attempts still exists in the modern “hyper-partisan environment.”
— Kevin Collier (@kevincollier) February 6, 2020
The report ultimately encouraged transparency from all U.S. administrations moving forward and called for the sharing of information related to election interference campaigns as widely as appropriate throughout the governmental structure.
“In the event that such a campaign is detected, the public should be informed as soon as possible, with a clear and succinct statement of the threat, even if the information is incomplete,” the report read, adding that the delayed release of information can pave the way for the spread of false narratives that can make dialogue between the government and public more difficult.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger told CNN host S.E. Cupp that Trump’s “indifference” to Russian election interference is a problem and implied it could undermine American faith in its democratic elections.
“I think it’s a huge problem,” he said, per Mediaite.
Amid the impeachment probe that ultimately led to Trump’s acquittal, the president and his allies pushed the theory that Ukraine — not Russia — interfered in the 2016 election. The push led to a backlash from some who claimed promoted such a theory played into the hands of the Kremlin.