Barack Obama
Barack Obama Independent News and Media

Obama orders 35 Russian diplomats out of US

The Obama administration announced a round of sanctions against Moscow on Thursday over its alleged hacking to influence November's election.

President Obama issued an executive order against six Russian individuals and five Russian entities.

A total of 35 Russian intelligence operatives based at the Russian embassy in Washington and the consulate in San Francisco have been declared "persona non grata" and ordered to leave the country within 72 hours.

"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," the president said in a statement.

"Russia's cyber activities 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," his statement read.

"These actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

The president also hinted that this is only the first of the White House's official responses to the alleged hacks and that it would retaliate out of the public eye.

"These actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia's aggressive activities," he said.

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

House Speaker Paul Ryan agreed with the Obama administration on Thursday by saying the sanctions were overdue.

"Russia does not share America's interests. In fact, it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing dangerous instability around the world," he said in a statement. "It serves as a prime example of this administration's ineffective foreign policy that has left America weaker in the eyes of the world"

More on the Russian hacking allegations here


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