Officials have told the press that the Obama Administration did not launch “retaliatory” attacks against Russia over their alleged role in hacking Democratic Party websites because President Obama expected Hillary Clinton to win the vote and was waiting until after the election.
Obama claimed in his Friday speech all the hacking stopped in early September after he told Vladimir Putin to “cut it out,” but officials continued to talk up retaliatory action right through the vote. It was just supposed to happen during the lame duck period, with a President-elect Clinton helping to plan.
This was actually being reported well before the election, with officials then saying Obama was also concerned that starting a big cyber-war right before the election might hurt Clinton’s chances at the polls. The reality that the next president would inherit such a cyber-war was a big part of it, with Obama wanting that president-elect (again presuming it would be Clinton) to help plan it out.
That Donald Trump ultimately won the election made the matter even more difficult, as Trump has expressed opposition to picking fights with Russia, and has dismissed the allegations of Russian involvement in the hacking for lacking any evidence.