Obama expels 35 Russian diplomats as part of sanctions for US election hacking
The Obama administration on Thursday announced its retaliation for what US intelligence services believe to be Russian efforts to interfere with the US presidential election, ordering sweeping new sanctions that included the expulsion of 35 Russians and the closure of two Russian compounds in the US, the Guardian reported.
US intelligence services believe Russia ordered cyber-attacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Hillary Clinton’s campaign and other political organizations, in an attempt to influence the election in favor of the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
In a statement issued two weeks after the president said he would respond to cyber-attacks by Moscow “at a time and place of our choosing”, Obama said Americans should “be alarmed by Russia’s actions” and pledged further action.
“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,” Obama said in the statement, released while he vacations with his family in Hawaii.
“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.”
Obama added that more actions would be taken, “some of which will not be publicized”.