|Rod Rosenstein, Barack Obama and Victoria Nuland
The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, attacked the Obama administration, former law enforcement officials, the press and his own critics in a fiery speech on Thursday night that he used to defend his handling of the Russia investigation.
With the Mueller report’s public release on April 18, 2018, Rosenstein made his first public comments, delivered during a speech at the Armenian Bar Association’s public servants dinner in New York on April 25. Rosenstein criticized the Obama administration for its overall decision “not to publicize the full story about Russian computer hackers and social media trolls, and how they relate to a broader strategy to undermine America.”
Mr. Rosenstein and other Justice Department officials have come under fire for how they have sought to shape the public’s understanding of the 448-page special counsel’s report. While the report detailed Russian support for Mr. Trump’s campaign, his advisers’ openness to that help, and the president’s efforts to derail the investigation itself, Attorney General William P. Barr has repeatedly emphasized that Mr. Mueller did not charge Mr. Trump with a crime.
– Victoria Nuland, a top State Department official dealing with Russia under Obama, told the Senate intelligence committee that Moscow seemed to have slowed its influence campaign after Obama made “a stern and personal warning” to Russian President Vladimir Putin in September 2016. But she said the campaign seemed to accelerate during October, using social media platforms to spread false narratives as the Nov. 8 Election Day approached.
“I think it’s probably the case that the Russians expected deterrent measures and didn’t see them, and so felt they could keep pushing,” Nuland said.