(Updates) Breaking News: Obama Administration Announces ‘Actions in Response to Russian Harassment’ – Releases Report – Presidents’ Statement
President-elect Trump, who usually immediately and forcefully — make that viciously — reacts to the slightest personal provocation had the following incredibly nonchalant response to the actions the United States is taking in response to Russian intentional attacks on our democracy.
This is Trump’s statement:
“It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things.
Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation.”
How magnanimous of Mr. Trump.
The President’s Statement follows the State Department’s Press Release
The Obama administration has just announced measures it is taking in retaliation for Russia’s interference in the U.S. 2016 presidential election.
They include the expulsion of 35 Russian officials and the sanctioning of agencies and individuals tied to the hacks.
According to the Washington Post,” the announcement culminates months of vigorous internal debate over whether and how to respond to Russia’s unprecedented election-year provocations, ranging from the hacks of the Democratic National Committee to the targeting of state electoral systems.”
Below is the full State Department press release.
Department of State Actions in Response to Russian Harassment
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Department Spokesperson
December 29, 2016
The State Department today declared persona non grata 35 Russian officials operating in the United States who were acting in a manner inconsistent with their diplomatic or consular status. The Department also informed the Russian Government that it would deny Russian personnel access to two recreational compounds in the United States owned by the Russian Government.
The Department took these actions as part of a comprehensive response to Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and to a pattern of harassment of our diplomats overseas that has increased over the last four years, including a significant increase in the last 12 months. This 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. In addition, the Russian Government has impeded our diplomatic operations by, among other actions: forcing the closure of 28 American corners which hosted cultural programs and English-language teaching; blocking our efforts to begin the construction of a new, safer facility for our Consulate General in St. Petersburg; and rejecting requests to improve perimeter security at the current, outdated facility in St. Petersburg.
Today’s actions send a clear message that such behavior is unacceptable and will have consequences.
At the same time, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a joint 13-page report detailing how investigators linked the Russian government to hacks on various Democratic political organizations.
According to The Hill, “The document makes clear reference to the hacks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, although it does not mention either by name.”
The Hill continues:
The 13-page report provides technical details regarding tools and infrastructure used by Russian civilian and military intelligence services to “compromise and exploit networks and endpoints associated with the U.S. election, as well as a range of U.S. Government, political, and private sector entities.”
It comes as part of a slate of retaliatory measures against Russia issued Thursday by the Obama administration in response to the hacks.
The Intelligence Community in October formally attributed the attacks to Russia, but provided no evidence to support its assessment.
President-elect Donald Trump has continued to deny that Russia was involved, and Obama has been under pressure to provide proof.
Read the report here
President Obama’s Statement:
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 29, 2016
Statement by the President on Actions in Response to Russian Malicious Cyber Activity and Harassment
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.
All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions. In October, my Administration publicized our assessment that Russia took actions intended to interfere with the U.S. election process. These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government. Moreover, our diplomats have experienced an unacceptable level of harassment in Moscow by Russian security services and police over the last year. Such activities have consequences. Today, I have ordered a number of actions in response.
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. 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. The State Department is also shutting down two Russian compounds, in Maryland and New York, used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes, and is declaring “persona non grata” 35 Russian intelligence operatives. Finally, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are releasing declassified technical information on Russian civilian and military intelligence service cyber activity, to help network defenders in the United States and abroad identify, detect, and disrupt Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities.
These actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia’s aggressive activities. We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized. In addition to holding Russia accountable for what it has done, the United States and friends and allies around the world must work together to oppose Russia’s efforts to undermine established international norms of behavior, and interfere with democratic governance. To that end, my Administration will be providing a report to Congress in the coming days about Russia’s efforts to interfere in our election, as well as malicious cyber activity related to our election cycle in previous elections.