TEL AVIV — Former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 hopeful, claimed alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election would not have transpired under the administration of Barack Obama and Biden’s own watchful eyes.
Unfortunately for Biden, Russia’s alleged interference related to the 2016 presidential campaign took place under the Obama administration. Also, as Breitbart News reported, Biden was reportedly one of the few Obama administration officials who participated in secretive meetings during the early stages of the Obama-era intelligence community’s initial operations regarding suspected Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Talking to CNN on Friday, Biden declared: “Look at what’s happening with Putin. While Putin is trying to undo our elections, he is undoing elections in Europe. Look at what’s happening in Hungary, look what’s happening in Poland, look what’s happening. You think that would happen on my watch or Barack’s watch? You can’t answer that, but I promise it wouldn’t have, and it didn’t.”
A significant portion of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s extensive report documented Russia’s alleged interference campaign, much of which took place under Biden’s watch during the Obama administration.
Biden himself was reportedly involved in the initial briefings related to Russian interference.
The Washington Post previously cited former Obama administration officials as expressing regret that not enough was done to contain the alleged Russia interference threat.
The newspaper reported:
“It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend,” said a former senior Obama administration official involved in White House deliberations on Russia. “I feel like we sort of choked.”
“The punishment did not fit the crime,” said Michael McFaul, who served as U.S. ambassador to Russia for the Obama administration from 2012 to 2014. “Russia violated our sovereignty, meddling in one of our most sacred acts as a democracy — electing our president. The Kremlin should have paid a much higher price for that attack. And U.S. policymakers now — both in the White House and Congress — should consider new actions to deter future Russian interventions.”
They also worried that any action they took would be perceived as political interference in an already volatile campaign. By August, Trump was predicting that the election would be rigged. Obama officials feared providing fuel to such claims, playing into Russia’s efforts to discredit the outcome and potentially contaminating the expected Clinton triumph.
That tidbit about Biden’s role in the initial Russia probe was contained deep inside a 7,700-plus word Washington Post article published June 23, 2017 in which the newspaper also detailed the highly compartmentalized nature of the original Russia interference investigation and the manner in which other U.S. intelligence agencies were deliberately kept in the dark. Part of the efforts eventually involved unsubstantiated and ultimately discredited charges made by the Christopher Steele dossier that Trump campaign officials were colluding with Russia.
Biden’s largely unreported role in the initial Obama administration meetings on the matter of Russian interference could spark further questions now that Attorney General William Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to investigate the origins of the Russia collusion claims.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
Written with research by Joshua Klein.