Prior to the 2016 Presidential election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not allow the Obama administration to send out warnings to the public about Russia’s interference. That report has now been backed by former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to Politico, McConnell denied signing a bipartisan statement about Russia’s efforts to intervene in the election. Biden said that former President Barack Obama felt that the lack of bipartisanship would work in favor of Russia’s interests.
Biden said that Obama “would sit there literally after” each press briefing “and say, ‘What the hell are we going to do?’”
“Can you imagine if the president called a press conference in October, with this fella, Bannon, and company, and said, ‘Tell you what: Russians are trying to interfere in our elections and we have to do something about it,’” Biden said. “What do you think would have happened? Would things have gotten better, or would it further look like we were trying to delegitimize the electoral process, because of our opponent?”
“Had we known what we knew three weeks later, we may have done something more,” Biden said, according to Politico.
Reports of McConnel denying the Obama administration the chance to warn Americans about Russia’s interference first surfaced in December 2016 when the Atlantic’s Kaveh Waddell wrote: “The effort was stymied by several Republicans who weren’t willing to cooperate, including, reportedly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”