Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton over the weekend floated the notion that the Obama administration may have been behind the election season hacks blamed on Russia and aimed to favor President-elect Donald Trump — and wondered if it they were a "false-flag operation."
During a Sunday interview with Fox News' Eric Shawn, Bolton wondered why no evidence of Russian involvement was found regarding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's email scandal yet Russian "cyberfingerprints" are apparently all over the election season hacks.
It is not at all clear to me just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false-flag operation. Let's remember what FBI Director James Comey said dealing with Hillary's home brew server. He said we found no direct evidence of foreign intelligence service penetration. But given the nature of this, we didn't expect to. Meaning a really sophisticated foreign intelligence service would not leave any cyberfingerprints — and yet people say they did leave cyberfingerprints in the hacks regarding our elections. So the question that has to be asked is, why did the Russians run their smart intelligence service against Hillary's server, but their dumb intelligence services against the election?
Shawn shot back, telling Bolton a "false flag" — which diverts attention from governmental action in order to cover it up — is a "very serious charge."
"Are you actually accusing someone here in this administration or in the intelligence community of trying to throw something?" Shawn asked.
"We just don't know," Bolton replied. "But I believe that intelligence has been politicized in the Obama administration to a very significant degree."
Shawn wasn't buying it: "But would the intelligence officials politicize this to go so far to something that could potentially damage the very issue of our republic and what we for 200-plus years have stood for?"
"Now I think the whole thing has called into question, which is why the notion of some kind of independent investigation becomes extremely important," Bolton replied. "I do think it's critical to answer the question I posed: If you think the Russians did this, then why did they leave fingerprints?"
According to the Washington Post, the CIA concluded that Russia interfered in the U.S. election process to help Trump win. President Barack Obama has called for a "full review" of the election-season hacking.
Bolton emphasized that if the claims about Russia are confirmed, "either in the cyberworld or elsewhere we should retaliate." He later added, "This is just as serious an attack as a military attack."
"It is unacceptable for the American Constitution to be assaulted by foreigners in that way," he continued. "So it is absolutely critical as well that we get the facts right on this, and I don't think we have anywhere enough in the public domain to know what the facts are."
Bolton also noted that more information is needed to determine whether the hacks indeed stemmed from Russia or a false flag operation.
"We would want to know who else might want to influence the election and why they would leave fingerprints that point to the Russians," Bolton said. "That's why I say until we know more about how the intelligence community came to this conclusion, we don't whether it's Russian inspired or a false flag."