While President-elect Donald Trump and his friends in Russia may think he’s president, today President Obama set them straight. The president followed up on his promise to punish Russia for hacking the 2016 election with a massive expulsion of Russian diplomats, KGB agents, business leaders and the shutdown of Russian companies. President Obama stated “Today, I have ordered a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election. These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior.” Through an executive order President Obama took unprecedented action and also named individuals who worked on the coordinated cyber attack.
President Obama has ordered 35 Russian diplomats to leave the US and closed two Russian compounds. A White House Statement reads in part “Russia’s cyberactivities were intended to influence the election, erode faith in US democratic institutions, sow doubt about the integrity of our electoral process, and undermine confidence in the institutions of the US government. These actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
The lengthy statement also reads “The President has sanctioned nine entities and individuals:two Russian intelligence services (the GRU and the FSB); four individual officers of the GRU; and three companies that provided material support to the GRU’s cyber operations…Today the State Department declared 35 Russian government officials from the Russian Embassy in Washington and the Russian Consulate in San Francisco “persona non grata.” They were acting in a manner inconsistent with their diplomatic status. Those individuals and their families were given 72 hours to leave the United States.”
President-elect Trump has previously downplayed any Russian involvement in the election. There is no indication that the actions taken by President Obama will change the election results. So far a normally lying and inflammatory Trump has issued no statements