President Barack Obama indicated Friday that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin had a hand in the hacking operation that targeted Democratic operatives before the election that ultimately sent Donald Trump to the White House over his favored successor.
‘Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin. This is a pretty hierarchical operation,’ Obama said.
He stopped shy of pointing the finger directly at the foreign leader outright yet said, ‘Last I checked there’s not a lot of debate and democratic deliberation, particularly when it comes to policies directed at the United States,’ leaving little doubt where he thought responsibility should rest.
‘I will let you make that determination 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 U.S. president stated.
The CIA said this week that it believed Russia intervened to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton – an assessment the FBI echoed minutes before Obama’s remarks.