Giuliani: Obama trying to create problems for Trump with 11th-hour foreign policy moves – Politico

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani dismissed the sanctions against Russia announced Thursday by President Barack Obama as “petty little actions” intended to box President-elect Donald Trump into a corner and accomplish little else.

“There’s a certain pettiness that I hadn’t seen before. I mean, to do this after 18 months, when you could have prevented it 10 months ago,” Giuliani said Friday morning on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “Petty little actions like this don’t mean very much. It’s almost a mockery to say this is too little too late. It should have been done 10 months ago, 11 months ago, 12 months ago. If it is really true, the response should be much stronger.”

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The sanctions announced Thursday by the White House target Russian intelligence services as well as businesses and individuals. The package also expels 35 Russian diplomats and closes two Russian compounds that the White House said in a statement were used for “intelligence-related purposes.” Friday morning, Giuliani scoffed at the notion of closing the compounds, telling the Fox News hosts that “if you are going to solve a murder, you arrest the murderer. Not the candy store the murderer went to before he committed the murder.”

Taken together with the White House’s decision to abstain from a United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israel for settlement building, Giuliani said Obama’s last-minute foreign policy moves are “taking tremendous leverage away” from Trump, who has promised warmer relations with both the Russians and Israelis. The former mayor said he had “never seen a president try to create more problems for a future president.”

Obama’s actions should be taken with an extra-large grain of salt, Giuliani said, because of the president’s track record, specifically his labeling of the Islamic State militant group as “a JV team” and his scoff at a 2012 remark from then-GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney that Russia was America’s top “geopolitical foe.”

Trump, of course, has spoken especially warmly of Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. The president-elect has thus far been unwilling to concede the assessment of all 17 federal intelligence agencies that Russia was behind the cyberattacks that prompted Thursday’s sanctions, and Trump has taken particular offense to the assessment of the CIA and FBI that those Russian cyberattacks were launched specifically to help install him as president. Trump said Thursday that “it’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things,” but said he would be briefed on the situation next week.

Those cyberattacks launched by the Russian government were largely targeted at the email accounts of prominent Democratic officials and institutions like the Democratic National Committee. Ultimately, Giuliani said, Democrats have only themselves to blame for the embarrassing content of their leaked emails. “If they hadn’t written awful things, the hacking would have meant nothing,” he said.

Giuliani, who works as a security consultant for foreign governments, said Trump should not automatically trust the intelligence coming from the Obama administration and instead should ask his own national security team for its assessment.

“Here’s what you do: You get your own people to review it,” he said. “There’s no question that the intelligence that President Obama has been getting has either been incompetent or politicized. I do cybersecurity for a living, and this is prolific, and there should be very strong reactions against anyone who did it. But I would urge President Trump, when he becomes President Trump, to have his own intelligence people do their own report, let’s find out who did it, and let’s bang them back really hard.”

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