Obama Announces Measures to Punish Russia for 2016 Election Interference, Trump Still Denies It
Today, the other shoe dropped; the Obama administration announced some fairly strong measures to punish Russia for interfering in our presidential election.
The new measures include sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies, three companies that are believed to have provided support for government cyber operations, and four Russian cyber officials. The administration will also shut down Russian-owned facilities in Maryland and New York that Obama said where used for intelligence activities and would declare 35 Russian operatives “persona non grata,” meaning they would be required to leave the United States.
The State Department said it is taking action against these 35 individuals in response to Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and to the harassment of U.S. diplomats overseas over the last four years.
“The harassment has involved arbitrary police stops, physical assault, and the broadcast on State TV of personal details about our personnel that put them at risk,” according to a statement from State Department spokesperson Mark C. Toner.
Obama also suggested Thursday the United States may undertake covert activity in response to Russian activities.
What strikes me as absolutely bizarre about this whole mess: I can’t understand why, in the face of sanctions and FBI/CIA reports that Russia definitely interfered in our election, we’re still going ahead with the inauguration of Donald Trump. If it’s serious enough to eject diplomats, shut down Russian facilities and threaten covert action — how can we still pretend this was a legitimate presidential election?
I don’t know what anyone could do, but it’s incredibly dismaying to see the United States just going ahead with this farce and installing the most dangerously unqualified president in our nation’s history.
Meanwhile, Trump is still running interference for Russia. Yes, that’s Don King grinning next to him as he blathers incoherently.