A Newsweek report on Wednesday said that top officials of the Obama administration blocked FBI Director James Comey from writing an op-ed as early as summer last year about Russian efforts to meddle with the U.S. presidential election.
Comey’s op-ed would have shown evidence of Russia trying to influence the presidential election, the report said. The Obama administration only came out publicly with its accusation on Oct. 7 when the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence alleged that the Kremlin was involved in cyber attacks aimed to defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The Daily Caller reports:
Comey, who took over the FBI in 2013, proposed the op-ed during a meeting in June or July in the situation room of the White House in which Sec. of State John Kerry, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Sec. of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson were also present, according to Newsweek.
“He had a draft of it or an outline. He held up a piece of paper in a meeting and said, ‘I want to go forward, what do people think of this?’” a source with knowledge of the meeting told Newsweek of Comey.
Some members of the Obama White House opposed Comey’s op-ed idea, arguing that they preferred a more coordinated message. “An op-ed doesn’t have the same stature, it comes from one person,” the report said.
Comey has been a source of frustration for the Democrats during the campaign because of his public disclosure of details of his investigation into Clinton’s private email server.