Obama to retaliate against Russia before Trump takes office
President Barack Obama's administration will announce as soon as Thursday a series of new sanctions against the Russian government and individuals linked to it in retaliation for allegedly hacking into Democratic systems before the Nov. 8 elections, CNN reported.
Intelligence officials now say two major leaks of both Democratic National Committee and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's emails were personally directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and intended to help Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the race. According to CNN, administration officials say the retaliation against Russia will include harsher sanctions, diplomatic measures, naming individuals "associated with a Russian disinformation campaign" and covert measures that will not be formally revealed.
The retaliation comes with less than a month left in Obama's second term as president and seems intended to send a strong signal to the Russian government before Trump takes office. Trump struck a pro-Russian tone on the campaign trail, and his nomination of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, a longtime friend of Putin's, for secretary of state could indicate the president-elect wants to ally with Russia.
According to Yahoo News' Hunter Walker, Trump had no comment when asked about Russian interference in the elections on Wednesday, continuing a trend of declining to comment on the alleged Russian operation or outright denying it happened.