Joe Biden Receives Backlash for Saying Russia Meddling Didn’t Happen ‘On My Watch’

July 6, 2019 Updated: July 6, 2019

Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden drew widespread criticism after he claimed that Russian meddling “didn’t” happen “on my watch” in a recent cable news interview.

During the interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo aired on July 5, Biden expressed his disagreement about the current foreign policies and accused President Donald Trump of “dissing” allies and “embracing thugs.”

“Look at what’s happened with Putin. While he—while Putin is trying to undo our elections, he is undoing elections in — in Europe,” Biden said.

He continued, “Look what’s happened in Hungary. Look what’s happened in Poland. Look what’s happened in—look what’s happening.”

“You think that would have happened on my watch or Barack’s watch?” the former vice president then asked. “You can’t answer that, but I promise you it wouldn’t have, and it didn’t.”

However, former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s interference on the 2016 presidential election outlined how the Russian government had attempted to engage in efforts to meddle with the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

It also brought up a number of questions about the Obama’s administration’s handling of foreign intelligence threats. According to the New York Times, former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson acknowledged in 2017 that the Obama administration knew about the Russian meddling and was “concerned that by making the statement we might, in and of itself, be challenging the integrity of the election process itself,” he said at the time.

Meanwhile, in April this year when the Mueller report was released, the Republican National Committee accused the Obama administration of doing “absolutely nothing about it” despite being aware of the interference.

“Obama chose not to “strike back” because he wanted Russia to cooperate with the Iranian Nuclear deal,” the statement said. “Not only did Mueller confirm that there was no collusion, we also learned the full extent of how much the Obama administration failed to act while Russia messed with America’s electoral process.”

Obama’s response to the meddling was also criticized by top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, who said 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,” reported The Guardian in 2017.

After the interview was aired, many prominent figures and politicians quickly pointed out that Biden’s claim was false.

“Joe Biden claims Russian election interference wouldn’t have happened on his watch or Obama’s watch. Seriously, Joe?? It DID happen on your watch and Obama’s watch!!” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said in a Twitter thread he posted to counter the presidential candidate’s claim.

“Russian interference in America’s elections happened on Obama and Biden’s watch. That’s irrefutable. Even CBS News admitted Obama knew about Russian meddling,” he wrote in a post accompanied by a CBS article.

“Has Joe Biden forgotten about how weak the Obama administration was on Russia? Like when Barack Obama himself told Russia “after my election I have more flexibility” on missile defense when he thought no one could hear him?” he asked.

“Did Joe Biden forget about Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offering a “reset” with Russia, undermining our national security?” Scalise also said in his thread.

“Did Joe Biden forget about when he and Obama, along with many other Democrats and the liberal media, mocked Mitt Romney for taking the threat of Russia seriously?” he also wrote.

Managing editor of News Busters Curtis Houck also weighed in on Biden’s comments.

“PANTS ON FIRE ” he wrote.

Former intelligence officer Tony Shaffer also called out Biden. He said, “Oh, man…you can’t make this stuff up…I don’t think knows what continent he is on today…”

Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan

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