On Sunday’s edition of This Week, President Barack Obama spoke with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos about the findings and concerns he has over Russia’s role in the DNC hacks during the 2016 presidential election.
Looking solemn, Barack Obama openly declared that he believes Russia’s meddling was not only intentional, it was a success. At this stage, there are concerns that Russia will also try to meddle in the election of other countries:
‘There are going to be elections coming up among our NATO allies that we have to pay attention to…’
This concern is heightened because Donald Trump keeps dismissing Russian influence in the 2016 election. The lack of acknowledgement basically means that the incoming administration will likely open the U.S. to future attacks by not maintaining sanctions or imposing any other firm consequences.
On that note, Barack Obama has a message for President-elect Donald Trump in regards to him refusing to accept the findings of the U.S. intelligence community. He claims that the biggest hurdle in tackling foreign influence, is accepting that it happened:
‘…People are skeptical of mainstream news organizations. You know, nothing is settled. Everything is contested.’
The fundamental problem Donald Trump’s line of thinking, as Barack Obama sees it, is what it suggests about the polarization of U.S. politics. The division between Democrats and the GOP has grown so wide that many Republicans appear to trust Vladimir Putin and Russia more than their fellow Americans.
‘One of the things I am concerned about is the degree to which we’ve seen a lot of commentary lately where there are Republicans or pundits or cable commentators who seem to have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Americans because those fellow Americans are Democrats. That cannot be.’
Stephanopoulos then prodded Barack Obama to see if he would identify Donald Trump as a contributor to this problem. Of course, from the beginning Donald Trump was extremely resistant to the idea that the Russians or anyone else tampered with the election. He outright, on numerous occasions, proclaimed Russia’s innocence. Even after the final report was released, he stood by his assessment that he won fairly and without the Kremlin’s help.
Barack Obama expertly avoids assigning blame, or discussing the assertions of Donald Trump while still being honest and remaining consistent with his message:
‘We have to remind ourselves we’re on the same team. Vladimir Putin’s not on our team.’
WATCH: Barack Obama warns GOP about trusting Russia more than their fellow Americans
Feature image screengrab via ABC News. All rights reserved. Image has been modified from its original form.