Friday, December 16, 2016

Obama Implicates Russia's Vladimir Putin in Cyberattacks Against the Democrats (VIDEO)

He's leaving office totally disgraced, reduced to spreading unverified, rank partisan allegations against his democratically-elected successor.

This is how far we've fallen the past eight years. We really need to make America great again, man.

At WSJ, tomorrow's front page, "Obama Suggests Russia’s Putin Had Role in Election Hacking":

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama on Friday implicated Russian President Vladimir Putin in cyberattacks designed to hurt Democrats in last month’s election, and he promised a “methodical” retaliation.

Mr. Obama said the U.S. intelligence he has seen “gives me great confidence” that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and the email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. Asked if he believes the Russian leader authorized the cyberattacks, he said, “not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin.”

“This happened at the highest levels of the Russian government,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference. “I will let you make that determination as to whether there are high-level Russian officials who go off rogue and decide to tamper with the U.S. election process without Vladimir Putin knowing about it.”

The president’s naming of Mr. Putin and his promised response escalates the public debate over cyberespionage’s effect on the campaign. Lawmakers of both parties are also vowing investigations. The confrontation could fuel growing tension between the White House and President-elect Donald Trump, who has raised skepticism about Russia’s role in the hacks and who Democrats argue benefited from the stolen, leaked emails.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday said of the Obama administration’s accusation that the U.S. “should either stop talking about it or finally produce some evidence; otherwise it looks highly unseemly,” according to Russian state news agencies.

Mrs. Clinton, speaking to campaign supporters Thursday, directly accused Mr. Putin of directing the attacks, saying he was motivated by her criticism of Russian elections in 2011 as “illegitimate,” according to an audiotape posted online by the New York Times.
Mr. Obama used Friday’s wide-ranging year-end news conference to trumpet his legacy, rattling off statistics showing improvements in health-care coverage and employment on his watch.

But the roughly 90-minute session was dominated from the outset by the Russia question. The president was vague about what form the U.S. response may take. With just five weeks left in office to order any retaliation, the president said some of it may be public while other aspects could be covert or only known by Moscow. Among the president’s options are declassifying more information or leveling charges at any people it believes carried out the attacks or assisted in them.

“Our goal continues to be to send a clear message to Russia or others not to do this to us because we can do stuff to you,” Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Obama, who has ordered the completion of a review of cyberattacks allegedly aimed at U.S. elections before he leaves office on Jan. 20, defended his administration’s response so far to the hacks.

Some critics have said Mr. Obama should have acted sooner and more aggressively. U.S. intelligence agencies issued a statement a month before the election saying they were “confident” the Russian government directed cyberintrusions into U.S. political organizations. But Mr. Obama said Friday that in September, when he encountered Mr. Putin at a meeting of world leaders in China, he addressed the issue of tampering with the voting process.

“I felt that the most effective way to ensure that that didn’t happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out, and there were going to be some serious consequences if he didn’t,” Mr. Obama said.

U.S. officials say Russian hackers were able to steal emails from Democratic political organizations and Mr. Podesta, but made a less aggressive effort to hack the computer networks of the Republican National Committee. Russia has denied the hacks.

Mr. Trump has called the U.S. intelligence assessment “ridiculous” and questioned its accuracy, reminding the public that the government’s claim before the Iraq war in 2003 that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction proved inaccurate. On Friday, Mr. Trump’s only comment on the subject came in a tweet, in which he mentioned that the cyberattack revealed intraparty Democratic tension during the primary campaign...
Keep reading.

Previously, "No Proof Russia's Behind the Alleged Election Hacks."