President-elect Donald Trump responded to the Obama administration’s sanctions against Russia Thursday over allegations of US election-related hacking.
“It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things,” he wrote. “Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation.”
Actions taken by the White House thus far include the expulsion of 35 “Russian intelligence operatives” from the United States as well as sanctions on Russia’s top two intelligence agencies and “companies and organizations” accused of assisting government-connected hackers.
A full list of actions were outlined by President Obama::
I have issued an executive order that provides additional authority for responding to certain cyber activity that seeks to interfere with or undermine our election processes and institutions, or those of our allies or partners. Using this new authority, I have sanctioned nine entities and individuals: the GRU and the FSB, two Russian intelligence services; four individual officers of the GRU; and three companies that provided material support to the GRU’s cyber operations. In addition, the Secretary of the Treasury is designating two Russian individuals for using cyber-enabled means to cause misappropriation of funds and personal identifying information. The State Department is also shutting down two Russian compounds, in Maryland and New York, used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes, and is declaring “persona non grata” 35 Russian intelligence operatives. Finally, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are releasing declassified technical information on Russian civilian and military intelligence service cyber activity, to help network defenders in the United States and abroad identify, detect, and disrupt Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities.
The FBI and Homeland Security simultaneously released a Joint Analysis Report (JNC) on the “technical details regarding the tools and infrastructure used by the Russian civilian and military intelligence Services…”
A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin called Obama’s sanctions “ungrounded and illegal.”
“We regret that this decision was made by the U.S. administration and President Obama personally,” spokesman Dmitri S. Peskov said. “As we have said before, we believe such decisions and such sanctions are ungrounded and illegal from the point of view of international law.”
The Russian Embassy in London also responded on Twitter by accusing Obama of engaging in “Cold War deja vu,” complete with a photo of a duck and the word “lame.”
The Kremlin is reportedly debating on comparable actions in return, the most likely of which will include the expulsion of US government employees from Russia.
“The sanctions were the strongest response yet by the Obama administration to Russia’s cyber activities, however, a senior administration official acknowledged that Trump could reverse them and allow Russian intelligence officials back into the United States once he takes office,” notes Reuters.
Trump similarly told reporters Wednesday that “we ought to get on with out lives” when asked about Obama’s impending actions.
“I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly,” Trump said. “The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind, the security we need.”
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