Former Obama Official: Warnings on Russian Trolls, Potential Election Meddling Were Ignored
Describes Situation Room sitdown in 2014.
A former Obama White House official said the U.S. government could have prevented Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Brett Bruen, who served as the White House director of global engagement from 2013 to 2015, told CNN that in 2014 he warned his colleagues on former President Obama's National Security Council that Russian trolls interfered in Ukraine's 2014 election and could do the same to the United States.
"I was sitting in the Situation Room saying, 'This is something that's going to march across Western Europe. It's something that's going to march over to our shores, and we need to be ready,'" Bruen told CNN, explaining the State Department dismissed his idea of a "command center" to counter Russian disinformation.
Bruen said with that knowledge, the U.S. could have taken action and prevented the Russian trolls' election meddling.
On "America's Newsroom" on Tuesday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said this is another example of Obama's weak policy toward Russia.
"He barely said anything about Russia, didn't do anything about election meddling when they saw that coming, allowed Russia a foothold in Syria to prop up the Assad regime, allowed Russia to intervene in eastern Ukraine and did nothing really short of sending blankets to the Ukrainian army, where President Trump has now sent lethal weapons," Kinzinger said.
He said many on the left portray Obama as a hawk on Russia, but President Trump's actions thus far into his presidency have been far more hawkish.
"President Trump, I surely wish he'd say more against Russia, but his actions have been outstanding up to this point. He’s been probably the most hawkish, anti-Russian president we’ve seen in quite a long time.”
Former State Department and White House officials told CNN that no one, including Bruen, accurately assessed the threat of Russian meddling.