Obama Reaffirms Russian Hacking Effort and Calls Out the Media’s ‘Obsession’ Over ‘Juicy Gossip’


During his highly-anticipated press conference on Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama held his final press event for 2016, at times detailing the long list of successes that the administration is touting in the final weeks of the year.

President Obama addressed the press by speaking about troop withdrawal, and the fact that Osama bin Laden “has been taken off the battlefield.” 44 touted his administration’s perceived successes in 2016: no successful attack on our soil that was directed from oversees, new and healthy relations with Cuba, and the Paris Agreement on climate change. It is an environment that he says he is “proud to leave for my successor.”

But the first question directed at Obama was, unsurprisingly, with respect to the transition of power to the administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump. “We have done everything we can to make the transition successful,” and it will continue to be so, noted Obama.

“Go through the facts,” said Obama, continuing that they were alerted that the DNC may have been hacked; Obama ordered thorough investigations at the time. Obama noted that his administration did not allege the reasoning behind the Russian hacks, saying “we simply let people know” the facts. Obama identified that this “hyper-partisan environment,” it was important to the President not to come off as too alarmist or jeopardize the democratic process.

“We were playing this thing straight,” he said of the news of the Russian hacks. He repeated the official stance of the White House: that the administration was made aware, along with our uniformed intelligence community, of the Kremlin’s effort of espionage before the election. “[Vladimir Putin] denies it,” Obama said of the Russian president.

But President Obama fell short in identifying that the confirmed hacking efforts were directly responsible for Hillary Clinton’s election loss. “I’m gonna let all the political pundits in this town have a discussion about what happened in this election,” he said.

At one point, Obama turned the tables on the mainstream media, identifying how “every juicy tidbit of gossip,” earned headlines regarding the stories surrounding John Podesta‘s emails and WikiLeaks. Most notably, our political system became vulnerable by what he referred to as, “an obsession that dominated the news coverage,” a contributing factor to the 2016 race.

Watch above via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: