According to former Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected the Obama administration’s efforts to warn Americans that Russian actors meddled in the 2016 election.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, Biden expressed regret at not being able to do more. “Had we known what we knew three weeks later, we may have done something more,” he said.
“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?”
Biden’s account was backed up by a former Obama White House official, who told POLITICO that the Obama administration’s “interest in making sure the response was bipartisan wasn’t for the sake of being bipartisan. It was necessary because we needed the buy-in from state and local election administrators (many of whom were Republican partisans and/or skeptical of federal government).”
“Unfortunately, as is well documented, Senator McConnell was unwilling to help — only making matters worse,” the unnamed official said.
He accused the Trump administration of “abdicating” its responsibility when it comes to the alleged Russian meddling, resulting in a “squandering” of American power.
“[Obama] and I would sit there literally after the [presidential daily briefing], after everyone had left the room, and say, ‘What the hell are we going to do?’” Biden recalled.
Biden is rumored to be mulling over a possible run in 2020.