Tom Steyer, the California billionaire behind an aggressive campaign demanding the impeachment of President Trump, accused the president of failing to protect the nation following the indictment of 13 Russians for meddling in the 2016 campaign.
“Why is he not protecting the American people?” he asked in an interview on Cheddar Friday, shortly after the indictment was announced. “Why is he allowing a hostile foreign power to attack us? And his response is to weaken sanctions against Russia at the same time?”
“What is he hiding, and why is unwilling to protect our democracy and the safety of the American people?”
Steyer’s comments come after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations for meddling in U.S. elections.
The charges, which include conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire and bank fraud, and identity theft, are the first to be brought in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The indictments claim infractions started back in 2014 and don’t suggest the 2016 presidential campaign was affected.
According to the indictment, the Russians ran a well-funded effort to sow political discord in the United States in advance of the 2016 election by creating hundreds of fake social media accounts that were supportive of Trump and critical of Hillary Clinton.
Trump, was briefed on the indictment Friday morning, took to Twitter Friday afternoon to point out there were no findings that his campaign did anything wrong.
But Steyer, who has funneled more than $20 million into an impeachment campaign against the president, says that the commander-in-chief had to be aware of Russia’s role in the election and yet has not taken action against previous or future “hostile attacks.”
“When the head of the FBI was asked two days ago whether they expected the Russians to hack us in 2018, he said ‘Yes, the Russians’ 2016 [attack] was a big success and they were going to continue it and expand it in 2018,’” Steyer said. “When he was asked if the president had ordered him to do anything to protect us against that he said, ‘No, not specifically.’”
For full interview click here.