FEBRUARY 6, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama administration “was not well postured” to counter Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and was constrained in responding by a heavily politicized environment and other factors that inadvertently aided Moscow, according to a Senate report released Thursday.
The bipartisan report by the Senate Intelligence Committee also found that the manner in which the Obama administration handled the Russian interference may have obscured a more complete view of the extent of meddling by Moscow, limiting U.S. action.
The findings are significant in that minority Democrats joined majority Republicans in criticizing the Obama administration’s handling of what the panel and U.S. intelligence agencies concluded was a Russian operation to sway the 2016 presidential vote to then-Republican candidate Donald Trump over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
“The committee found that the decisions to limit and delay the information flow regarding the 2016 Russian active measures campaign, while understandable, inadvertently constrained the administration’s ability to respond,” the report said.
Russia has denied U.S. charges that it employed cyber hacking, disinformation, and other means to influence the election outcome in Trump’s favor.