- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden said Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not want to put out a bipartisan statement with the White House about Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

“Mitch McConnell wanted no part of having a bipartisan commitment that we would say, essentially, Russia is doing this, stop,” Mr. Biden said at a Council on Foreign Relations event.

He said former CIA Director John Brennan recommended the bipartisan warning to Russia, but that Republicans were unwilling to join the effort. Their refusal to be part of that bipartisan commitment meant “the die had been cast here,” the former vice president said.

“This was all about the political play,” he added.

Mr. Biden said he advised former President Barack Obama not to make an announcement about the situation on his own, fearing he’d be accused of trying to “tip the election” in favor of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Unless you can get harder data than we have now, you’re going to be in a terrible position,” Mr. Biden recalled saying to Mr. Obama at the time.

Mr. Biden said the administration struggled with how to handle the ongoing situation throughout the fall leading into the election. He added that he’s not sure the administration could have done more to deal with the situation at the time with the minimal amount of intelligence they had.

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