20:51 GMT +322 January 2020
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    US President Donald Trump bashed his predecessor Barack Obama on Sunday for not confronting Russia when he had the chance over Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, saying the ongoing investigation targeting his own administration is a "big hoax."

    Trump said on Twitter that Obama's lack of action on this apparently important issue was because the former US president was sure Democratic candidate "Hillary Clinton was going to win."

    ​In September 2016, Obama reportedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin to "cut it out" in a conversation about Russia's alleged hacking of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta's email accounts ahead of the US election. He said at the time that he'd warned Putin that he would face serious consequences for meddling at all in the contest. A month later, the US accused Russia of interfering its democratic process.

    Since Trump won the 2016 presidential election, US authorities have been investigating allegations that his campaign team somehow colluded with Russia, and have claimed that Moscow influenced the election process to help Trump win.

    In early July, a US court rejected a lawsuit filed against Trump's election campaign and former adviser Roger Stone, alleging that Stone and the campaign conspired with Russia to leak compromising Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails ahead of the 2016 election. The judge found that the accusations, even if true, could not be legally tied to the Trump campaign, Politico reported.

    WikiLeaks began publishing Podesta's emails on October 8, 2016, and published thousands of emails per day through right up to the election.

    The revelations included that Clinton had been leaked planned questions for televised debates on CNN, as well as attempts to shift the dates of primaries to give Clinton an advantage over her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders.

    Another leak occurred earlier that year in July, when the whistleblowing website published nearly 20,000 hacked emails apparently showing DNC members discussing ways to undermine Sanders in the race for the party’s nomination. The publication led to several party officials resigning. Clinton has herself accused Russian hackers of the leak.

    Clinton eventually lost the election to Trump, who carried the Electoral College 290 to 232. Hillary Clinton however won the popular vote by a margin of nearly three million people.

    Russia has rejected all of the allegations of involvement in the hacking and email leaks, stressing that no evidence has been provided to substantiate the claims.


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    meddling, hoax, emails, election, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, United States
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