While Democrats in recent days have demanded a full public investigation of Russian involvement in hacks of Democratic Party officials and campaign workers of Hillary Clinton in 2016, President-Elect Donald Trump continues to turn that argument back on Democrats and the White House, raising questions about post-election sour grapes.
“Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?” Mr. Trump tweeted on Thursday.
The President-Elect continued to mock the reaction of Democrats before sunrise on Friday morning.
Some Republicans have joined Mr. Trump to criticize the Obama Administration, arguing there was a reason why nothing was done before the election about the Russian election meddling.
“Simple answer,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who argued that President “Obama has responded to every provocation for 8 years in the same way: weakness.”
A handful of Republicans have endorsed the idea of a broader special committee in Congress or independent commission to look at what Russia did, but that still seems unlikely at this point, as the GOP argues regular committees in the House and Senate can do that job just fine.
The answer that seems to come out of the White House on why nothing was done, is that they thought Clinton would win – so there was no reason to raise a big public fuss before the election about the Russian actions.
President Obama is expected to be asked about the Russia situation on Friday afternoon at his year-end news conference; White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest this week steadily stepped up public criticism of Republicans and Mr. Trump over the Russia situation.
As for what the President should do with so little time left in office, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul says Mr. Obama should lay out the record in public.
“As Obama now responds to Russia interference in our elections, the one action over which he has control is declassification of the intel,” McFaul said.
Mr. Obama holds a final news conference for 2016 at 2:15 pm ET.