Top Democrat slams Obama administration's response to Russian hacks

 House member Adam Schiff makes a statement during a hearing on Russia's interference in the 2016 US election on June 21, 2017.
House member Adam Schiff makes a statement during a hearing on Russia's interference in the 2016 US election on June 21, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The top Democrat on the US House Intelligence Committee on Sunday criticised the administration of former President Barack Obama for not taking earlier and tougher action against Russia for its alleged hacks aimed at swaying the Nov 8 election for Donald Trump.

"The Obama administration should have done a lot more when it became clear that not only was Russia intervening, but it was being directed at the highest levels of the Kremlin," said Representative Adam Schiff on CNN's State of the Union programme.

The Obama administration imposed sanctions in December on two Russian intelligence agencies over their alleged involvement in hacking political groups during the election, but those sanctions were too little, too late, Schiff said.

 

Schiff and his Senate counterpart, Dianne Feinstein, issued an unusual public statement in September condemning Russia for the alleged hacks.

"We had to vet that with the intelligence community, but we took that step because we weren't succeeding in getting the administration to do it itself," Schiff said.