‘Tough’ Talk: Obama Tells Putin’s Spies to Go Home and Think About What They’ve Done

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By Andrew Stiles | 3:14 pm, December 29, 2016

The Obama administration has finally announced retaliatory measures against the Russian government for its involvement in the hacking of Democratic Party officials’ emails.

The White House on Thursday announced the expulsion of 35 Russian “intelligence operatives” currently working as diplomats in the United States, as well as new sanctions against the Russian intelligence agencies believed to be responsible for cyber-attacks against the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.

“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,” Obama said in a statement. “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.”

Shockingly, Obama’s recently disclosed “private warning” to Russian President Vladimir Putin to “cut it out” did not stop the attacks.

The president also announced that the United States was shutting down two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York that were being “used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes.” He further promised to issue a report to Congress in the coming days, and to release “declassified technical information” in an effort to help the international community identify and defend against the Russian hackers.

Additional retaliatory measures were in the works, Obama warned. “We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized,” he said.

Earlier in the day, a White House official told MSNBC the administration was planning to “announce covert action” against Russia, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but seems in keeping with Obama’s ruthlessly scientific approach to foreign policy.

Many observers noted with dismay the length of time it has taken the United States to retaliate for Russia’s ongoing cyber-attacks against the U.S. government and other entities.

The media is eagerly awaiting a response from President-elect Donald Trump, who has expressed an openness to closer relations with Putin, and recently dismissed talk of further sanctions against Russia, saying “I think we ought to get on with our lives.”

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