Obama to sanction Russia over 'election meddling'

Obama administration to announce a series of sanctions against Russia for meddling in the presidential election.

Ben Ariel,

Putin and Obama
Putin and Obama
Reuters

The Obama administration is preparing to announce a series of sanctions against Russia for meddling in the presidential election, American officials briefed on the plans told CNN on Wednesday.

The measures could be announced as soon as Thursday, the officials said.

The actions are expected to include expanded sanctions and diplomatic measures, in what the administration deems a proportional response to a Russian operation that went beyond cyber hacking activities common among nations.

Some of the steps are expected to name individuals associated with a Russian disinformation campaign that U.S. intelligence officials say used hacked information from mostly Democratic Party organizations and officials to attack the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, according to CNN.

The sanctions follow a report by the CIA which concluded that Russia hacked senior Clinton aides’ email accounts so as to intervene in the election on behalf of President-elect Donald Trump.

In the wake of the CIA report, President Barack Obama promised to retaliate against Russia for "meddling in America's election process”.

"I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections ... we need to take action. And we will - at a time and place of our own choosing," he said, adding, "Some of it may be explicit and publicized, some of it may not be... But [Russian President] Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it.”

Trump has rejected the claims that his election win was enabled by Russian hackers, saying that Democrats bitter with the results of the election were inventing excuses for their defeat.

Meanwhile, an official representative for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, responded on Wednesday to news of the impending American sanctions.

"If Washington really does take new hostile steps, they will be answered ... any action against Russian diplomatic missions in the U.S. will immediately bounce back on U.S. diplomats in Russia," she said in a statement on the ministry's website.

"Frankly, we are tired about the lies about Russian hackers -- it's misinformation by Obama administration aimed at providing an excuse for its own failure," added Zakharova.


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