Warner Admits Obama Administration 'Choked' in Handling Russian Interference

July 2, 2017

Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) admitted on Sunday that the Obama administration "choked" in its handling of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, made the comment to CNN's Fareed Zakaria, who asked Warner if he believes the Obama administration mishandled Russia's interference in the election.

"Do you think that the Obama administration choked and should have done more when it knew that the Russians were interfering?" Zakaria asked.

"With the value of hindsight, yes," Warner said. "But I also know that most of the information, there were so many threads coming in from both signals intelligence, from human intelligence, from actions of the FBI, but no one really put the whole, all the pieces together until after the election."

Criticism has swirled recently around the Obama administration's handling of Russian meddling. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who served under former President Barack Obama, told lawmakers less than two weeks ago that the administration delayed taking action against Moscow after it learned of the Kremlin's cyber and disinformation campaign.

Defenders of the Obama administration say taking more decisive action would have been interpreted by many Americans as meddling in the election and attempting to help Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.