Obama Announces Sanctions Against Russia In Response To Cyberattacks

December 29, 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen in Nagato, western Japan, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen in Nagato, western Japan, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016.

Toru Hanai/Associated Press

The White House has announced new actions targeting Russia in response to cyberattacks intended to interfere with the U.S. election. In a statement Thursday, President Obama said, "All Americans should be alarmed by Russia's actions," referring to hacks of the Democratic National Committee. Obama also cited an "unacceptable level of harassment" of American diplomats by Russian security services and police in Moscow.

The immediate impact of the president's executive order is that 35 Russian diplomats will be expelled from the U.S. and two Russian compounds will be closed.

The statement also names Russian individuals and entities — including two intelligence services — to be targeted by new sanctions.

"We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized," the statement goes on to say.

President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on assertions that Russia was responsible for hacks and leaks during the election.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat in the chamber, issued a statement after the president's announcement.

“Russia’s direct and deliberate interference in our election is an unprecedented breach and threat to U.S. democracy and national security—I strongly support President Obama’s actions," he said. "Regardless of the outcome of this election, the American people are rightly outraged, and Republicans and Democrats in Congress will continue to stand against Russian aggression wherever it occurs.”  

Story source: NPR