While Donald Trump has repeatedly denied Russian interference in the U.S. election despite confirmation from our country’s top Intelligence agencies, President Barack Obama took action on Thursday.
Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and sanctioned Russian intelligence officials who Washington says were involved in hacking U.S. political groups in the presidential election, according to Reuters.
The measures, taken during the last days of Obama’s presidency, mark a new low in U.S.-Russian relations which have deteriorated over serious differences on Ukraine and Syria.
“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,” Obama said in a statement from vacation in Hawaii.
Obama is seeking to prevent Russia and other foreign governments from launching cyber attacks in the future to meddle in our political process, former officials and cyber security experts said.
He’s not just tossing them out. He’s naming names.
— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) December 29, 2016
That tweet links to here, which states:
Today, the President issued an Executive Order Taking Additional Steps To Address The National Emergency With Respect To Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities. This amends Executive Order 13694, “Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities.” E.O. 13694 authorized the imposition of sanctions on individuals and entities determined to be responsible for or complicit in malicious cyber-enabled activities that result in enumerated harms that are reasonably likely to result in, or have materially contributed to, a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States. The authority has been amended to also allow for the imposition of sanctions on individuals and entities determined to be responsible for tampering, altering, or causing the misappropriation of information with the purpose or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes or institutions. Five entities and four individuals are identified in the Annex of the amended Executive Order and will be added to OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List). OFAC today is designating an additional two individuals who also will be added to the SDN List.
The individuals are named under the announcement of the executive order. One of our mods, Ed, said he was watching this news unfold on Fox ‘News’ and the host called the president ‘feckless.’ We call it, ‘Keeping our country safe.’ We want our vote to count again.
Featured image: Barack Obama via Flickr.
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