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National Security Desk / December 23, 2016

Obama Prevented Legislation He Now Calls For

Tom Cotton says Obama killed an effort to prevent Russian cyberattacks.

“Blame the Russians” was the punchline to the Democrats’ joke regarding post Cold War conservatives and their foreign policy perspectives. Now, it has become the punchline used by conservatives making fun of Hillary Clinton apologists’ litany of absurd election loss excuses. Even Barack Obama has done a 180 on this one, as he soberly blamed Russia for election interference and called out Republicans for failing to act.

The truth is Obama has only himself to blame. Earlier this year, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) attempted to get legislation passed that would have formed an interagency intelligence task force designed to “counter Russian efforts” and expose Russian “falsehoods, agents of influence, corruption, human rights abuses, terrorism and assassinations.” In other words, Cotton recognized the threat Russian meddling posed and sought to stop it. The bill passed in the House but died in the Senate due primarily to White House opposition.

Now Democrats want to start an investigation into Russian clandestine operations to influence the election. If this doesn’t smack of political pandering, we don’t know what does. The reality is that this latest Russian hack is just one of a number of U.S. cybersecurity failures under Obama’s watch. Some of the biggest being Edward Snowden’s raiding of the NSA and China’s hacking of OPM database stealing millions of government employees’ personal information.

And for perspective, it’s important to note that the DNC is a private organization responsible for its own security measures. Its failure was in no way the fault of the government, the Republican Party or Donald Trump.

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