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In response to Russia’s interference and hacking of our recent presidential elections in November, as well as the harrrasment of our diplomats in Moscow, President Obama struck back with additional sanctions against the Asian giant.
“Today, I have ordered a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election,” President Barack Obama said . “These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior.”
Per President Obama’s order, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are set to release declassified technical information “to help network defenders in the United States and abroad identify, detect and disrupt Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities,” he said.
As a result of these new sanctions, 35 Russian Intelligence operatives have 72 hours at Russian Embassies in Washington and San Francisco to leave American soil, and access will be denied to Moscow to two Russian-owned compounds in New York and Maryland.
Russia has denied any involvement in the cyber-attacks. It is widely believed that Russia took part in hacking and cyber-attacks to aid President-Elect Trump in the recent elections.
Law-makers on both sides of the aisle applauded President Obama’s move against Russia.
Calling Obama’s actions overdue, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) said, “Russia does not share America’s interests. In fact, it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing dangerous instability around the world.” He went on to say, “While today’s action by the administration is overdue, it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia.”
Senator Charles Schumer strongly supported Obama’s move, saying, “We need to punch back against Russia, and punch back hard.”
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham insists that Russia interfered with the election process and said on Wednesday that Congress will fully investigate Russia’s involvement in the coming year. “I expect there will be bipartisan sanctions coming that will hit Russia hard, particularly Putin as an individual,” Graham said. “It is now time for Russia to understand enough is enough.”
Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, is calling for proof of election hacking by the Russian government.
In disregard to national security issues, Trump, who may have benefitted by Russia’s interference in the November elections, and in sharp contrast to lawmakers in Washington and the Obama administration, said on Wednesday from his Key Largo resort, “I think we ought to get on with our lives.”
He did not follow up with his customary tweet regarding the issue.