The Obama administration has just announced its next move against the Russians in response to Kremlin-directed cyber attacks carried out throughout the just concluded election season — sanctions.
As The Washington Post reported Tuesday:
‘The Obama administration is close to announcing a series of measures to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 presidential election, including economic sanctions and diplomatic censure, according to U.S. officials.’
Obama administration officials say that efforts are underway to modify a recent Executive Order that gave the president authority to impose tough sanctions on overseas interests in response to cyberattacks that threatened the security of the critical infrastructure of the United States.
The problem, however, is that Russia’s election meddling, carried out via large scale hack based thefts of emails from interests in the U.S. Democratic Party, doesn’t necessarily constitute a threat to the security of the critical infrastructure of the United States.
Thus, in the near future, Obama administration officials say that a modification to this executive order will be announced that either recognizes elections related computer systems — such as those in the Democratic Party — as “critical infrastructure” or that is more outright, adding elections related computer systems to the interests that, if targeted, would spark sanctions.
Notably, these actions on the part of the Obama Administration come as the soon to be president continues to refuse to acknowledge that any sort of serious situation exists because of the Russians’ hacking.
Trump still, by all appearances, sticks to the dismissive position that he expressed after the CIA report detailing the agency’s Russia- incriminating findings was circulated. At that time, Trump called the CIA the “same people who said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”
Obama administration officials have this flagrantly dangerous, Russia capitulating attitude on Trump’s part in mind as they move to put Russia in its place in response to the hacking. Officials state that their efforts to form a comprehensive plan to respond to Russia include efforts to keep that plan from being able to be altered by the next president, Donald Trump.
As one anonymous official put it, “Part of the goal here is to make sure that we have as much of the record [as possible] public or communicated to Congress in a form that would be difficult to simply walk back.”
Trump, after all, besides refusing to acknowledge the serious situation created by the Russians’ hacking, has made numerous active indications that he’s oh-so-ready to act as Vladimir Putin’s crony.
Heck, Trump picked a man to head the Department of State — Exxon Mobil’s Rex Tillerson — who is so deeply involved in Putin’s Russia that he was recently awarded the highest civilian honor granted by the former Soviet Nation.
Tillerson also is a key figure in a multi-billion dollar energy deal between Exxon Mobil and Russia, a deal that was put on hold by U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia after the nation invaded Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and will only be put on hold further by the about to be announced sanctions against Russia because of its hacking.
Featured Image via Leigh Vogel/WireImage.