President Obama said in a press conference on Friday that Russia stopped “tampering” with the U.S. election in early September after he told President Vladimir Putin to “cut it out.” But that’s not how newly-appointed Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile sees it.
"They came after us absolutely every day until the end of the election,” she said to ABC’s Martha Raddatz Sunday on This Week. “They tried to hack into our system repeatedly.”
“Daily, hourly,” she added, noting her disappointment with the president's statement.
Speaking to the press, Obama had said, “In early September when I saw President Putin in China, I felt that the most effective way to ensure that that didn't happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out, and there were going to be serious consequences if he didn’t. In fact, we did not see further tampering of the election process. But the leaks through Wikileaks had already occurred."
Brazile blamed the president for not protecting the DNC from “a foreign adversary” saying, “it’s the responsibility of the government to help individual citizens -- as well as institutions, nonprofits, corporations -- to protect us.”
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange maintains that his source was “not the Russian government.” He didn’t confirm or deny that Russia hacked into the DNC but assured the documents he posted online didn't come from them. Instead, a WikiLeaks operative told the Daily Mail that their source was U.S. media outlets who were “disgust[ed] at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.” This operative claims he received a package “from a source during a clandestine drop-off near American University in a wooded area in Washington, D.C.”
But for Brazile, she prefers placing blame on Trump for using the leaked information, which revealed her breach of ethics as a CNN contributor for supplying debate questions to Hillary Clinton before a town hall on the network, to “sow division” during the campaign:
"The emails were weaponized. Donald Trump used this information in ways to also sow division. I was very disappointed in his repeated usage some of the stolen information. He used it as if he received daily talking points."
The DNC chair said that while she is “still outraged” by the embarrassing information that was made public, she is taking “full responsibility:”
“I’m not going to sugarcoat what happened on Election Day. We, the Democratic Party have a lot of things that we have to do. Donald Trump cracked the blue wall. He cracked the blue wall. We had a blue wall; we should’ve maintained it.
“There’s no question; I took full responsibility … I spent the entire month of July, all of August, apologizing because of the leaks.
“I’m still outraged by it, but I want to make sure that this never happens again because this country deserves to have the kind of cybersecurity experts involved to make sure that our homeland is protected."
And by "never happens again," Brazile means never to be caught undermining elections again AND not just the homeland, but that her new job is also protected.