WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted that it is former President Barack Obama and not his associates who “colluded” with Russia or obstructed justice by not more forcefully speaking out against Moscow’s attempts to interfere in last year’s presidential campaign.
The latest accusations follow a Washington Post report that detailed the Obama administration’s struggle to develop a response to Russia’s efforts. The White House ultimately decided not to retaliate against Moscow until after the election.
The president also tweeted there have been “zero ‘tapes’ of T people colluding,” presumably a reference to members of Trump’s inner circle, which is being investigated by the Department of Justice.
The reason that President Obama did NOTHING about Russia after being notified by the CIA of meddling is that he expected Clinton would win..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2017
...and did not want to "rock the boat." He didn't "choke," he colluded or obstructed, and it did the Dems and Crooked Hillary no good.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2017
The real story is that President Obama did NOTHING after being informed in August about Russian meddling. With 4 months looking at Russia...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2017
..under a magnifying glass, they have zero "tapes" of T people colluding. There is no collusion & no obstruction. I should be given apology!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2017
The U.S. intelligence community issued a statement in October warning about Russian attempts to impact the race. But Democrats have expressed frustration that the Obama administration did not more prominently address the issue ahead of Trump’s surprise election victory.
Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson testified to Congress last week that the administration struggled on deciding how to address the issue in a race where Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was seen as the clear frontrunner and Trump made accusations it was rigged.
Related: Trump acknowledges Russian 'meddling' in tweet criticizing Obama
“We were very concerned that we not be perceived as taking sides in the election, injecting ourselves into a very heated campaign,” Johnson told lawmakers.
Trump has given conflicting statements about whether he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin led cyber espionage efforts to undercut Clinton’s campaign. He seemed to acknowledge Russia’s meddling in a tweet storm last week.