Podesta speaks to panel, de­fends Obama’s ac­tions on Rus­sia med­dling

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — An­drea Noble

The House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee in­ter­viewed Hil­lary Clin­ton’s 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign chair­man John Podesta be­hind closed doors Tues­day as part of law­mak­ers’ in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian med­dling in the elec­tion.

Mr. Podesta, who was tar­geted by Rus­sian op­er­a­tives as part of the cy­ber­cam­paign launched dur­ing the elec­tion sea­son, spoke briefly with re­porters af­ter­ward.

“The president and the en­tire ad­min­is­tra­tion were deal­ing with an un­prece­dented in­ci­dence of the weaponiza­tion of the fruits of Rus­sian cy­ber ac­tiv­ity, and I think they were try­ing to make the best judg­ments they could on be­half to the Amer­i­can peo­ple,” Mr. Podesta told re­porters after he was asked about the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­sponse to the Rus­sian hack­ing.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion has been crit­i­cized for its slow re­sponse to Moscow’s ef­forts, which was first men­tioned pub­licly in Oc­to­ber.

Mr. Podesta’s per­sonal email and Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee servers were hacked and em­bar­rass­ing mes­sages pub­lished on Wik­iLeaks.

Last week, for­mer Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary Jeh John­son told Congress that the White House had feared that a public ac­cu­sa­tion of Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence could have been con­strued as an ef­fort to in­flu­ence the elec­tion.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee in­ter­viewed John Podesta on Tues­day. Of­fi­cials are try­ing to fig­ure out the ex­tent of Rus­sian med­dling.

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