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Obama: I underestimated Russian election hacking threat





Obama: I underestimated Russian election hacking threat Obama: I underestimated Russian election hacking threat

President Obama admitted Sunday he “underestimated” the hacking threat to the United States — although he defended his policy toward Russia and how he dealt with Vladimir Putin.

“I don’t think I underestimated him, but I think that I underestimated the degree to which, in this new information age, it is possible for misinformation, for cyber hacking and so forth, to have an impact on our open societies, our open systems, to insinuate themselves into our democratic practices in ways that I think are accelerating,” Obama told ABC’s “This Week.”

The US intelligence community released a report Friday saying that Putin ordered an “influence campaign” to meddle in the presidential election and hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton.

President-elect Donald Trump has not publicly condemned Putin, but his incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, told “Fox News Sunday,” “I think he accepts the findings.”

Priebus, however, cast blame on the Democrats for poor cyber security.

“We have the DNC as a sitting duck,” Priebus said.

“[Clinton campaign chair] John Podesta’s password into his system — do you know what his password was? ‘Password,’ ” Priebus claimed on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

GOP leaders like Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (SC) have been alarmed at Trump’s unwillingness to condemn Russia and have called for a crackdown on Putin.

“I don’t know what drives him on Russia, but I do know this: that if our policies don’t change vis-á-vis Russia, the worst is yet to come. And the Congress is going to have a different view on Russia than the president-elect does,” Graham told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, who sits on Trump’s transition-team executive committee, called Putin a “bad actor” but said the hubbub about Russia is a political effort to undercut Trump’s legitimacy.

“So this looks like a political rollout of a narrative just a couple weeks before Donald Trump’s inauguration, and it bothers me,” Nunes told “Fox News Sunday.”


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Obama: I underestimated Russian election hacking threat
Dave Arnold

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