In his most recent tweets regarding alleged Russian hacking during the 2016 election, President Donald Trump placed the blame on former President Barack Obama.
Trump claimed he was vindicated by the testimony of former Director of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who served under Obama, who was questioned by the House Intelligence Committee on June 21, reports Time.
Johnson told Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina he didn't have any evidence "beyond what has been out there" that Trump or his associates colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
Trump responded by asking why Obama didn't stop the Russians if he knew what was happening.
On the morning of June 22, Trump tweeted: "By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn't they stop them?" As Inquisitr writer Sahash Khanal notes, Trump's question implied that he still does not believe the charge of Russian hacking.
About 30 minutes later, Trump tweeted a follow up. "Why did Democratic National Committee turn down the DHS offer to protect against hacks (long prior to election)," he rhetorically asked. "It's all a big Dem HOAX!"
Seven minutes later he asked: "Why did the DNC REFUSE to turn over its Server to the FBI, and still hasn't?" And then repeated the hoax charge: "It's all a big Dem scam and excuse for losing the election!"
Johnson revealed in his testimony that election systems in as many as 21 states were targeted by hackers, but the Obama administration did not pursue efforts to increase election cybersecurity, deciding it would be "counterproductive" during the election.
"Many would criticize us for perhaps taking sides in the election, so that had to be carefully considered," Johnson said.
Obama did eventually order a review of election hacking in December 2016. U.S. Intelligence agencies subsequently issued a rare public statement, declaring that the Russian government ordered cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee and members of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which allegedly enabled the publication of emails to benefit the Trump campaign.
In response, the White House on Dec. 29 announced that it was ejecting 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives from the U.S. and imposing sanctions on Russia’s two leading intelligence services, reported The New York Times.
The FBI, under former Director James Comey, launched a criminal investigation into whether Trump's advisers colluded with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, was a prime target of the investigation.
On May 9, Trump fired Comey. Several days later, on May 16, a memo surfaced which revealed that Trump tried to pressure Comey to stop investigating Flynn. "I hope you can let this go," wrote Trump to Comey in the memo.
In response to the controversy over the sudden firing of Comey, and over the contents of the memo, the Justice Department on May 17 appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former FBI director, as special counsel to oversee the investigation into possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.