Reports: WH Prepares To Announce Plan To Punish Russia For Election Hacking

The Obama administration is close to announcing sanctions and other measures to penalize Russia for its attempts to interfere in U.S. elections this year, the Washington Post reported Tuesday night, citing anonymous U.S. officials.

The measures would include economic sanctions and a diplomatic censure, according to the report. The White House would also use covert actions “that will probably involve cyber-operations,” the Post reported.

CNN also reported that the administration is working on a response to Russia and that the announcement could come as soon as Thursday. As part of the response, officials are expected to name individuals associated with the Russian attempt to influence the U.S. election, according to CNN.

Obama would need to expand his authority to enact sanctions against Russia in order to retaliate for the country’s attempts to meddle in the U.S. elections, and the Post reported that the administration has been looking at ways to expand a 2015 executive order granting Obama power to respond to certain cyber attacks. The White House is also working to make sure that the actions they take cannot be easily rolled back by Donald Trump, according to the report.

Earlier in December, Obama ordered an investigation into hacking attempts that U.S. intelligence officials believe were carried out by Russia. The CIA, FBI and the director of National Intelligence reportedly all agree that Russia carried out the cyber attacks in an attempt to tip the scales toward Trump in the 2016 election. But Trump has dismissed intelligence officials’ assessments and questioned the ability to determine who was behind the hacks.

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