In his final press conference of the year, President Obama accused reporters on Friday of being unfair to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Specifically, Obama suggested that the media paid too much attention to revelations from emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, that were released by WikiLeaks during the election. Obama, who also linked the hacking to Russian President Vladimir Putin, made his comments when he was asked if he felt Kremlin cyberattacks cost Clinton the race.
“I’ve said before I couldn’t be prouder of Secretary Clinton, her outstanding service. I think she’s worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people, and I don’t think she was treated fairly during the election,” Obama said. “I think the coverage of her and the issues was troubling.”
Earlier in the press conference, Obama admonished reporters for having focused on the “political gossip” in the hacked emails. He described the hack as having “dominated” election coverage.
“I’m finding it a little curious that everybody’s suddenly acting surprised that this looked like it was disadvantaging Hillary Clinton, because you guys wrote about it every day, every single leak, about every little juicy tidbit of political gossip, including John Podesta’s risotto recipe,” said Obama. “This was an obsession that dominated the news coverage.”
U.S. intelligence agencies said recently that the Russian government was behind the hacks. During his press conference, Obama promised that the U.S. would retaliate against Russia for interfering with the election.
“Some of it we do publicly; some of it we will do in a way that they know but not everybody will,” Obama said. “The message will be directly received by the Russians and not publicized.”
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