Donald Trump Is Fighting Russia's Election Interference 'More Than Obama, Who Did Nothing,' Claims Kayleigh McEnany

President Donald Trump is taking action against efforts by Russia to interfere in American elections, his 2020 campaign press secretary claimed, adding that his administration has done "certainly more than Obama, who did nothing" on the issue.

Trump is accused by his critics of not taking seriously enough the Russian threat after its undermining of the 2016 election through hacking, disinformation, and other cyber warfare. The U.S. intelligence community is warning that Russia is attempting the same for 2020.

At an infamous press conference in Finland last year, alongside Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Trump downplayed the conclusions of his intelligence agencies that the Kremlin interfered in the election and appeared to believe Putin's denial. After outrage, Trump backtracked.

Kayleigh McEnany, the Trump 2020 national press secretary, told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday night that the president, his administration, and Congress have done a lot to push back on Russia over its election interference and to defend America against future threats.

Among the examples she cited was the DETER Act, which mandates sanctions against any country if the Director of National Intelligence deems it has interfered in a U.S. election, and which bars entry to the U.S. for anyone who meddles.

McEnany also said the president has issued executive orders to assess America's cyber security, and that the Department of Homeland Security is working with 1,000 localities and states to protect and beef-up their systems.

"It's just false to say nothing has been done and no one has cared about this issue, because this administration has, and certainly more than Obama, who did nothing," McEnany said.

The Obama administration was aware of Russian efforts to interfere ahead of the 2016 election in Trump's favor and an investigation was started by the F.B.I., which was the precursor to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. President Obama ordered a full review.

Russians had also hacked the DNC, stealing emails which were then leaked through WikiLeaks at the height of the election campaign to embarrass the Democratic Party's candidate Hillary Clinton.

President Obama and his White House were unsure whether to go public about Russian interference for fear of accusations that they were showing partisanship during the election, and using the weight of administrative power to boost Clinton's chances.

According to The Washington Post, Obama proposed a bipartisan statement against Russian election interference by congressional leaders to alert the public about what was happening and to send a message to the Kremlin.

But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, doubted the evidence of interference presented to him, and reportedly told the White House he would regard any public challenge to the Russians a partisan act.

Putin Trump 2020 election interference
US President Donald Trump (R) attends a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images