Today, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a report (PDF) revealing the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. The report shows that the Obama administration was not in any way ready to handle Russian interference in the US election and that the administration suffered from “paralysis of analysis.”
Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) said the Obama administration “struggled to determine the appropriate response” and “debated courses of action without truly taking one.”
The report further showed that the Obama administration worried more about alarming the American people and that a statement could be perceived as political, given that then-President Obama was busy campaigning for Hillary Clinton.
“There were many flaws with the U.S. response to the 2016 attack, but it’s worth noting that many of those were due to problems with our own system – problems that can and should be corrected,” said Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA).
Finally, the committee advised that in the case of future attacks, the public should be notified “as soon as possible with a clear and succinct statement of the threat.” although, Burr says that as the 2020 presidential election approaches, the US is in a better position to identify foreign interference.
This very report from the Senate is the third of a required five reports that will investigate the government’s handling of Russia’s election interference. The very first one was released in July.
So far, there’s no clue as to when the remaining two will be released, but they are required to detail the intelligence community’s 2017 assessment on Russian interference and the final counterintelligence result.