Rep. Adam Schiff, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday the Obama administration should have done more to counter Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election.
"I think the administration needed to call out Russia earlier, needed to act to deter and punish Russia earlier, and that was a very serious mistake," Schiff, of California, said in a televised interview with CNN.
Schiff added that President Barack Obama may have been worried that doing more against Russia would have looked like he was “trying to tip the scales for Hillary Clinton” and did not want to give in to the notion that the election was “rigged” against Donald Trump, according to The Hill.
President Trump criticized Obama earlier Sunday for allegedly doing “nothing” about reports that Russia interfered in last year’s presidential campaign.
“I just heard today for the first time that (former President) Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it,” he said on “Fox & Friends Weekend.” “The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before the election. … If he had the information, why didn't he do something about it?”
Trump suggested the media has underreported the story, while it has rigorously pursued allegations that his team colluded with Russia during the 2016 race, in which he upset Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The Washington Post reported Friday that the Obama administration hesitated to act on and speak about information it was given about Russia’s interference in the election.