'Tricky as Hell': Biden Says GOP Would Blame Obama If He Revealed More About Russia Interference
Speaking recently to the Council on Foreign Relations, former Vice President Joe Biden said President Barack Obama would've been blamed if he revealed more intelligence on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The forum moderator asked Biden if Obama deserved a "mulligan" for not speaking fully on the topic prior to Donald Trump winning the presidency.
"I'm not sure," Biden said. "I think we made the right decision. We knew what they were up to... delegitimiz[ing] the electoral process."
Biden said a Congressional "gang of twelve" met with Obama White House officials on the matter and laid out what they knew.
But, Biden noted that even at that time, none of them knew the full "extent" of the alleged interference.
"The president and I sat there and said 'what the hell are we going to do?'," Biden said. "You go out there and unilaterally say 'this is what's happening', you're going to be accused of... trying to tip the election."
Biden said that Republican leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky wanted "no part" in a proposed bipartisan commitment to announce to the public that Russia is interfering in a presidential election.
The former Delaware senator said he and Obama were concerned that describing alleged Russian involvement to a higher extent "could be used as a weapon against" nominee Hillary Clinton.
"It was tricky as hell," Biden said.
"The die had been cast here. This was all about the political play," he said of McConnell's apparent insistence against a bipartisan announcement.
The Scranton, Pa. native also voiced concern about how then-Trump aide Steve Bannon - "and company" - would react to such an announcement in the fall of 2016.
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