CNN’s counterterrorism analyst harshly criticized President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump for allowing their disagreement over Russian hacking claims spill into the media.
“As a loyal American, let me tell you I’m disgusted by the White House and disgusted by the incoming president,” said Philip Mudd, the CNN analyst. “This is non-partisan.”
Mudd, a former CIA official, said Russia poses national security threats through cyber warfare, involvement in the Iran nuclear program and Syria — but he said the back-and-forth attacks between Obama and his successor were not helpful.
“We’ve got two 6-year-olds figuring out who can piss higher on a three about what happened with the intel, when the real question among professionals is how we deal with our main adversary after they’ve disrupted an election,” Mudd said. “I’ve had it with these guys. My message is shut up to the White House, shut up to the Trump office, figure out what we do going forward, and stop trying to figure out what happened six months ago.”
Mudd said the Obama administration must discuss how to respond to Russia with the Trump transition team in the next 30 days, and he said that conversation cannot be limited to the election hacking allegations.
“As soon as you talk to the Russians and accuse them publicly, there’s a potential, even, that that could be counterproductive,” Mudd said.
He said even sanctions might only strengthen Putin’s position as a bulwark against American power.
“Look, his approval rating is 80 percent,” Mudd said. “Humiliating him in public might not work.”
Mudd said the outgoing and incoming administrations must focus on a broader approach to Russia’s security threat to the U.S.
“Can the Obama administration do something to put the ball on the tee for the Trump administration?” Mudd said. “They’ve got to work together, and right now it’s like two kids in a sandbox — disgusting.”
Phil Mudd on reaction to Russian hacks: I'm disgusted by the White House and disgusted by the incoming president. https://t.co/nyYjZhs8wz
— New Day (@NewDay) December 16, 2016