John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador and potential Donald Trump pick, said that the Obama administration could have fabricated the story about Russian intervention to sway the election in Trump’s favor.
Describing it as a “false flag” operation, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said there are conflicting stories. During the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, FBI chief James Comey said there was no evidence of hacking, Bolton said, but he added that now the intelligence community is saying there’s evidence Russia allegedly hacked to swing the election.
“It is not at all clear to me, just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the [Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee] computers was not a false flag,” Bolton told Fox News, according to Politico. “So the question has to be asked, why did the Russians run their smart intelligence service against Hillary’s server, but their dumb intelligence service against the election?”
Bolton was then asked by the Fox News host if he thinks someone inside the Obama administration was responsible for the alleged false flag. A false flag refers to covert operations designed by a government to deceive the public to make it look like they are being carried out by foreign actors.
“We just don’t know,” Bolton said. “But I believe that the intelligence community has been politicized in the Obama administration to a very significant degree.”
He added, “The notion of some kind of independent investigation becomes extremely important.”
He also noted that Russia would be too sophisticated to leave evidence behind. “If you think the Russians did this, why did they leave fingerprints?” he asked.
In the interview, Bolton also expressed concerns of President Obama trying to get the intelligence review finished up by Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, saying the review should be carried out by the next CIA chief, Mike Pompeo.
But, he added, if Russia did indeed hack the U.S. to sway the election, there should be retaliation.
“It is unacceptable for the American Constitution to be assaulted by foreigners in that way. So it is absolutely critical as well that we get the facts right on this, and I don’t think we have anywhere enough in the public domain to know what the facts are,” he said.
Bolton said it’s of paramount importance for the U.S. intelligence community to detail how it came up with the conclusion that Russians were involved.
“We would want to know who else might want to influence the election and why they would leave fingerprints that point to the Russians,” Bolton told Fox. “That’s why I say until we know more about how the intelligence community came to this conclusion, we don’t know whether it’s Russian-inspired or a false flag.”
On Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) said he’s calling for a select committee to investigate the alleged Russian influence on the election.
“[I]t’s clear the Russians interfered,” he told CBS News‘ “Face the Nation,” without providing examples. “Whether they intended to interfere to the degree that they were trying to elect a certain candidate, I think that’s a subject of investigation. But facts are stubborn things. They did hack into this campaign.”
Trump has laughed off the allegations that Russia was involved.
“Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!” Trump tweeted Monday morning.