According to a report from The New York Times, the Obama administration worked tirelessly to ensure that intelligence that pointed to Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election was preserved. Former officials say that the undertaking had a twofold purpose: “to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.”
Dutch and British allies disclosed information regarding meetings between Russian officials close to Vladimir Putin and members of the Trump campaign in various European cities to three former American officials who wished to remain anonymous. Additionally, American intelligence uncovered various communication between Russian officials and members of Trump’s inner team.
Despite these reports and others, Trump has repeatedly denied any ties to Russia. Many in the Obama administration suspected that the Trump administration knew and helped enable Russian email hacking during the election, but that investigation is still ongoing. Trump White House spokesman Sean Spicer denied the veracity of these suspicions, chalking them up to the left being sore losers.
“The only new piece of information that has come to light is that political appointees in the Obama administration have sought to create a false narrative to make an excuse for their own defeat in the election. There continues to be no there, there.”
However, considering the current White House team’s drastic attempts to ensure that any unflattering story about Russian ties are buried — even using tactics that went against a decade of proper procedure — perhaps Obama’s team had the right idea. The House and the Senate are both heading up their own investigations into Russian interference using intel from the FBI and other agencies, however, the Obama administration had so little faith in Trump’s team’s ability to keep their promises that they worked until literally the final hours of their time in the White House to ensure that the incriminating data was preserved.
With the continually growing scope of Russian interference, the information left behind by the Obama team is surely invaluable to investigators and allies alike.
(Via The New York Times)