On the day before meetingRussian leader Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump opted who to blame most for election interference: Barack Obama.
More specifically, when asked on Thursday whether he believes Russia meddled in the 2016 election, President Trump changed focus to what he said was the real question: Why didn't Obama do anything about it?
Trump told reporters,
I think what happened is he guessed Hillary was going to win the election, and he said, let's not do anything about it.' Had he thoughtthe other route, he would've done something about itSo that's the real question, is why did he do nothingfrom August all the way to November 8th? Why did he do nothing?
Video footage of the news conference can be seen below.
Here's why Trump blames Obama.
Trump's decision to shift blame to former President Obamafor Russia's election interferenceis part of a recent trend for the current president.
In the past, President Trump has regarded the subject of Russia's involvement as a phony narrative with no substance.
In recent weeks though, the president changed rhetoric: The interference happened, and it's Barack Obama's fault that it did.
The turning point, in regards to that change in rhetoric, appears to have been the release of a bombshell report from the, which detailed how the Obama administration struggled to decide on how is in response to Russia's actions.
The article did indeed include reporting that suggested Obama felt more comfortable in not alerting the public because Hillary Clinton had been projected to win the election.
The report also indicated that the Obama administration did not want to draw accusations of unfairly helping his party's nominee.
The day the report was published, Trump tweeted 😛 TAGEND
Does Trump blamePutin and Russia?
Trump's remarks about Obama came after he was asked whether he was prepared to definitively point the finger at Russia for interfering in the election.
On that question, Trump offered a more measured response,
I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/ or countries.Nobody truly knows. Nobody truly knows for sure.
During a subsequent speech in Warsaw, the president did hint at Russia's reputation for getting involved in other countries' elections, andsaid Russia must discontinued its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere.
However, during the press conference, Trump continuedto avoid singling out Russia. Instead, he shifted blamed to former President Obama.