On Thursday, President Barack Obama took unprecedented steps retaliating against what the administration described as “Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities,” including sanctioning six Russia individuals and five Russian entities as well as ordering Russian diplomats to leave the country.
According to CNN, this is the first time the names of Russian officials involved in the hacking have been released to the public.
The president also said in a separate statement that 35 Russian diplomats have been ordered to leave the country, and two Russian compounds are being closed under Thursday’s actions.
A White House statement described the consensus from the Intelligence Community that Russia’s meddling in US elections via cyber hacking as “unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
The statement said:
Russia’s cyberactivities 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. These actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
According to statements from the White House and the Treasury Department, the government has sanctioned nine entities and individuals: the GRU and the FSB, two Russian intelligence services; four individual officers of the GRU; three companies that provided material support to the GRU’s operations; and two Russian individuals for using cyber-enabled means to cause misappropriation of funds and personal identifying information.
Obama also said in the statement that the diplomats have been ordered to leave the country with their families within 72 hours.
Obama said in the 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.
Donald Trump on Wednesday said that Americans should “get on with their lives” when asked about the expected White House announcement to place sanctions on Russia. He also stated he would be willing to meet with US intelligence officers and get briefed on their findings.
Back in October the US government announced they were “confident” the Russian government orchestrated the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations of the Democratic Party to influence the 2016 election.
Those hacks resulted in the public release of thousands of stolen emails, many of which including damaging revelations about the Democratic Party and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The hacking also led to the resignation of former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz after emails showed her favoring Clinton over Senator Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary.