The Obama administration announced a new round of sanctions against five Russian officials. Officials admit that technically the sanctions are not directly related to Russian alleged hacking of the recent presidential election.
|The timing makes it clear that the sanctions are part of ongoing "retaliation". Earlier Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed down two diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland. Donald Trump praised Putin for not reacting in a tit-for-tat fashion.|
I will tell you that even those who are sympathetic to President Obama on most issues are saying that part of the reason he did this today was to quote 'box in' President-elect Trump. That would be very unfortunate if politics were the motivating factor here. We can't help but think that's often true. That is not the way that peaceful exchanges work in this democracy."
"They are amateurish and are hardly worthy of the high professional standards of top intelligence agencies. We categorically rule out the possibility that Russian officials or official bodies could have been involved. We are tired of such accusations. This is beginning to remind us of a full-fledged witch hunt."Trump will have his hands full trying to reverse these late Obama administration efforts to worsen relations with Russia.