He also defended how he handled the probe into possible Trump-Russia collusion.
Outgoing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is no friend to President Donald Trump, criticized President Barack Obama’s administration over its handling of Russia hacking in 2016 and called out former FBI Director James Comey at the Public Servants Dinner of the Armenian Bar Association. From Fox News:
“The FBI disclosed classified evidence about the investigation to ranking legislators and their staffers,” he said. “Someone selectively leaked details to the news media. The FBI director [Comey] announced at a congressional hearing that there was a counterintelligence investigation that might result in criminal charges. Then the former FBI director alleged that the president pressured him to close the investigation, and the president denied that the conversation occurred.
“So that happened,” he joked.
The Obama administration has been criticized for its handling of the Russian interference. Trump has blamed Obama for not acting quickly enough to stem Russia’s influence during the campaign.
The fact is we knew at the time Russia attempted to influence our 2016 presidential election. Everyone wanted to know why Obama didn’t act against Russia. NBC News even reported on it in 2016 when sources claimed “that the Obama administration did not respond more forcefully because it did not want to appear to be interfering with the election.”
OK they didn’t want it to look like they were interfering so why not just let Russia do it? Obama wanted to talk privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin about it. We all know that Putin backs down when others try to tell him what to do!
One official explained that the administration thought failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would win so why bother?
Rosenstein also hit back at those who tried to decipher his body language when Attorney General William Barr held his press conference on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Rod Rosenstein speaking in NYC:
“Last week, the big topic of discussion was, what were you thinking when you stood behind Bill Barr at that press conference with a deadpan expression?”
“The answer is: I was thinking, ‘My job is to stand here with a deadpan expression.'” pic.twitter.com/t3vvi7Q9VH
— Philip Bump (@pbump) April 26, 2019
Speaking of Mueller’s report, Rosenstein defended the way he handled the investigation. The lead went to him after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused him:
“At my confirmation hearing in March 2017, a Republican senator asked me to make a commitment,” he recalled. “He said: “You’re going to be in charge of this [Russia] investigation. I want you to look me in the eye and tell me that you’ll do it right, that you’ll take it to its conclusion and you’ll report [your results] to the American people.
“I did pledge to do it right and take it to the appropriate conclusion. I did not promise to report all results to the public, because grand jury investigations are ex parte proceedings. It is not our job to render conclusive factual findings. We just decide whether it is appropriate to file criminal charges.”
I’ve said it over and over, but the media ticked me off when they placed the blame on Barr. They left out the fact that when it came time to summarize and explain it, Rosenstein had a part on it. I guess they didn’t want to mention Rosenstein because, like I said, he and Trump don’t really get along.DONATE
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