‘Obama was aware of Russian meddling before polls’

Washington: United States President Donald Trump claimed that his predecessor, Barack Obama, was aware of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential polls before the elections itself.

However, Trump lashed out at Obama on Twitter, asking why the latter did not alert anyone about the same.

“So President Obama knew about Russia before the Election. Why didn’t he do something about it? Why didn’t he tell our campaign? Because it is all a big hoax, that’s why, and he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win!!!” Trump tweeted.

In 2016, the Obama administration had accused Russia of posting hackers during the presidential race and slapped sanctions against Moscow for the same, The Hill reported.

The US intelligence agencies stated in a report that Russia was responsible for breaching the US electoral system.

Obama also reportedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop Moscow from meddling in the US elections.

Earlier, Trump touched off a major political controversy following his comments on Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election at his joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki.

On July 16, Trump had endorsed Putin’s stance on Russia’s non-involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.

Addressing a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki after their summit, Trump said that there was “zero collusion” and that he ran a “clean campaign.”

The US President had also mentioned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign was “a disaster for our country,” while also saying that it had negatively impacted US-Russia relations.

However, on Tuesday, Trump claimed that he misspoke on the issue.

Later, the US President said that he “did not see a reason why it would not be Russia.” He added that other parties could have been involved with Moscow in allegedly interfering the 2016 presidential poll.

In a CBS interview with anchor Jeff Glor on July 18, Trump took a major U-turn when he said that he held Putin “personally responsible” for the election interference.

Last week, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen claimed that Russia had “definitely interfered” in the 2016 presidential election.

Coats alleged that Moscow was “no doubt” eyeing this year’s midterm elections as a potential target. (ANI)