President Barack Obama sanctioned Russian officials and entities on Thursday in response to Moscow’s reported hacking during the U.S. presidential election.
“All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions,” the president said in a statement.
In addition to hitting two Russian intelligence agencies, three companies and four individual intelligence officers with sanctions banning them from travel and business with U.S. companies or individuals, Obama ordered 35 Russian operatives posted at diplomatic facilities in Washington and San Francisco to leave. The president asked the State Department to bar Russians from entering two Russian-owned compounds in Maryland and New York that were used to gather intelligence, according to his statement. And Obama’s Treasury Department barred U.S. business with two Russians accused of cyber-theft of money and data.
Obama left the door open for further action, including a potential cyberattack on Russia. “We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized,” he stated.
If Russia is not deterred now, the Obama administration believes it will continue to interfere in U.S. elections, as well as elections in U.S.-friendly countries, officials told reporters in a call. One official described Russian government actions against U.S. diplomats posted in Russia as part of the country’s “flagrant violation of diplomatic norms.” Full story here