President Obama: 'Vladimir Putin is not on our team'


During an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, President Obama issued a clear reminder to those who are not treating Russian meddling in our democracy with the gravity it deserves: "Vladimir Putin is not on our team."

A pointed reminder from President Obama:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Bottom line: This time, Vladimir Putin got what he wanted?

BARACK OBAMA: Well, look, I think that what is true is that the Russians intended to meddle, and they meddled. I'll be honest with you, George, one of the things that I am concerned about is the degree to which we've seen a lot of commentary lately where there were Republicans, or pundits, or cable commentators, who seem to have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Americans because those fellow Americans are Democrats. That cannot be.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Does that include the President-elect?

OBAMA: Well, what I will say is that — and I said this right after the election — we have to remind ourselves we're on the same team. Vladimir Putin's not on our team.

It is incredible that President Obama even has to publicly state that a foreign leader who personally orchestrated interference in our election is not on America's team, and, yet, as evidence of exactly why he is obliged to do so, President-elect Donald Trump spent the morning following an intelligence briefing on Russian interference tweeting about how only "stupid people" do not see an allegiance with Russia as a good thing:

As my colleague Leah McElrath notes, this is an endorsement of the "Dugin/Putin view of multi-polar world powers," which is a significant and alarming deviation from established American geopolitical policy, and is a further indication of Trump's disloyalty to this nation, on the verge of his inauguration. He is not just seeking a remarkable strategic realignment, but one that centers an alliance with a foreign power that has actively sought to undermine our democracy.

Our sitting president just had to publicly remind our president-elect that Putin is not on our team. That he had to make this statement is chilling. That the president-elect evidently disagrees is terrifying.