Last night on “The Daily Show,” President Barack Obama appeared on the long-running program one last time for a full-length interview with host Trevor Noah. The two discussed everything from race relations to Obamacare to President-Elect Trump’s insistence that he won’t need daily intelligence briefings because he’s “a smart guy.” But to begin the interview, Noah asked Obama to comment on the CIA’s assessment that the Russians had hacked the DNC and the RNC, to which Obama said that “none of this should be a big surprise.”
“When the DNC got hacked, we immediately assigned our intelligence community – our law enforcement – to investigate what had happened,” says Obama. “And we determined – and announced – in October that it was the consensus of all the intelligence agencies in law enforcement that organizations affiliated with Russian intelligence were responsible for the hacking of the DNC materials that were being leaked. That was a month before the election. This was not a secret.”
Obama goes forward to say that he called for a review just to “gather all the threads of the investigations [and] the intelligence work that has been done over many months.” He also said that he doesn’t think “there was any doubt among anybody in the media or among members of Congress as to who was being advantaged or disadvantaged by the political gossip that was being put out in drip drip drip fashion leading up to the election.”
But Obama concluded by asking Americans to reflect on the state of our democracy. “The real question I think we all have to reflect on is, ‘What’s happened to our political system where some emails that were hacked and released ended up being the overwhelming story and the constant source of coverage — breathless coverage — that was depicted as somehow damning in all sorts of way when the truth of the matter was it was fairly routine stuff.”
Watch the full 23-minuter interview between President Obama and Trevor Noah below.