Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said he urged the Obama administration to act against Russian interference in the 2016 election when it was discovered.
"We were urging the president to come out and make attribution early, to declassify as much as he could about the Russian intervention and to pursue sanctions then, not wait until after the election," the California Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday.
"When they did the following month, in October, the month before the election, it really wasn't enough, I think, to impress upon the public the seriousness of what Russia was doing," Schiff said.
He added, however, that he supported the decision. "I think they did that for perhaps understandable reasons, they didn't want to be perceived as influencing the outcome of the election."
"In the absence of a more forceful response, in the absence of attribution, they were really giving a green light to continued Russian intervention," he added.
President Donald Trump appears to be attempting to defuse the Russia investigation while criticizing Obama for not taking action, he continued, and "the irony of this week, which is so inescapable, is the president is criticizing his predecessor for not doing more to speak out on Russia at the very time the president, the current president, is refusing to speak out on Russia."
President Trump should agree that Russia did interfere and help mobilize the country to take action, he added, because "the most important thing the president of the United States could do today to protect us in the future is to acknowledge what Russia did, to help the country prepare for when they may do this again, to develop a national consensus that, no matter who it helps or who it hurts, both parties will reject any foreign interference.
"That is the single most important way to inoculate the country against foreign interference, and the president is not doing it, and instead is still blaming his predecessor," he said.
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