Clinton: Obama Administration Response to Russian Meddling Was ‘Mushy’


Hillary Clinton characterized the Obama administration's response to Russia's meddling in the 2016 election as "mushy" in an interview released Wednesday.

Clinton sat down with New Yorker writer David Remnick for an interview following the release of What Happened, of her new book about the 2016 election. Remnick asked if President Obama failed in his administration's response to early knowledge of Russian interference. Clinton was circumspect in her answer.

"I would have, in retrospect now, wished that he had said something, because I think the American people deserved to know," she said.

Remnick pressed the point, citing a maxim from Vladimir Lenin that Clinton uses in her book: "You take a bayonet and you push. If you hit mush, you keep going; if you hit steel, you stop."

"Were we mush?" Remnick asked.

"I think we were mushy," Clinton said. "Partly because we couldn't believe it."

Clinton claimed that her campaign had been a Cassandra, an allusion to an oracle from Greek myth who was cursed to have her prophecies never believed.

"Richard Clarke, who is one of our nation's experts on terrorism, has written a book about Cassandras. And there was a collective Cassandra out there—my campaign was part of that—saying, ‘The Russians are in our electoral system, the Russians are weaponizing information, look at it!' And everybody in the press basically thought we were overstating, exaggerating, making it up. And Comey wouldn't confirm an investigation, so there was nothing to hold on to," she said.

Clinton is not the only prominent Democrat to say that the Obama administration failed in its response. Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) said in July that the administration "choked" in its managing of Russian interference.

Charles Fain Lehman

Charles Fain Lehman   Email Charles | Full Bio | RSS
Charles Fain Lehman is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He writes about policy, covering crime, law, drugs, immigration, and social issues. Reach him on twitter (@CharlesFLehman) or by email at

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