Former Obama administration official Samantha Vinograd admonished President Donald Trump on Friday for not calling Russia “an enemy” of the United States.
The remark by the now-CNN contributor was striking given that her former boss, President Barack Obama, mocked Republican opponent Mitt Romney in 2012 for calling Russia our “No. 1 geopolitical foe,” saying it showed Romney was stuck in a “Cold War mind warp.” At one debate, Obama told Romney that “the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.”
Vinograd served as a senior adviser to National Security Adviser Tom Donilon in the Obama administration, in addition to working on the National Security Council. On Friday, she ripped the Trump administration for its response to special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian nationals for hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2016 presidential campaign.
White House officials did not address the fact that Russians attacked the country in their statements, she said.
“The president went to Brussels. He refused to call the Russians an enemy,” Vinograd told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “He called them a competitor.”
She added her suspicion that Trump would not confront Russian President Vladimir Putin over Russia’s election interference in their Helsinki summit on Monday, but would rather apologize to him.
Later on Friday, CNN host Jake Tapper confronted Vinograd over the latest indictments, saying it seemed to show the Obama administration dropped the ball on confronting Russia sufficiently over its 2016 election meddling.
“I was gone when this happened,” she responded, going on to ask why the U.S. has been ineffective in deterring Putin. “Not one president, whether it be Obama or President Trump, has figured out how to deter Vladimir Putin.”