John Podesta did not mince words when calling out the FBI for its “lackadaisical response” to Russian hacking during the 2016 election compared to its months-long major investigation of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
The former chairman of Clinton’s presidential campaign, whose own emails were targeted by Russian hackers, unleashed on FBI Director James B. Comey in an op-ed published in The Washington Post on Thursday.
Citing a recent New York Times report, Podesta said the FBI director felt so strongly about the “public interest” of Clinton’s emails while she was secretary of State that he devoted “thousands of hours” to the investigation but that he didn’t bother to send an agent to tell the Democratic National Committee about evidence of Russian hacking in September 2015.
“Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI.”
The New York Times article cited by Podesta also reported, in great detail, how a typo by a campaign aide led to the hacking of his personal emails.
Podesta argued that the FBI’s response to the threat of Russian hacking and cyberattacks had gone from “baffling” to “downright infuriating.” He called for a robust and independent investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission.
“I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections ... we need to take action,” Obama said. “And we will, at a time and place of our own choosing. Some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be.”