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U.S. hits Russians with sanctions for election meddling, cyber attacks

By on March 16, 2018

The United States on Thursday took its most notable action against Russia since Donald Trump became president, slapping sanctions on a group of Russian individuals and entities, including Moscow’s intelligence services, for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and malicious cyber attacks.

The United States announced sanctions on Thursday against 19 Russian individuals and five groups over malicious cyber activity including meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

The sanctions coming months after Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation order sanctions. Lawmakers, particularly Democrats, have accused the Trump administration of dragging its feet, doing too little to combat Russian cyber aggression.

U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed the sanctions, opting to remark instead on the nerve agent attack in the UK. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

Those targeted by Thursday’s sanctions include the Russian nationals and entities criminally charged by special counsel Robert Mueller last month.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 campaign using hacking and propaganda, an effort that eventually included trying to tilt the race in Trump’s favor. Russia denies interfering in the election. Trump has downplayed the attacks and largely avoided condemning Russia.

When asked about the sanctions against Russia in the Oval Office, Trump didn’t respond. Instead, he commented on the nerve agent attack in the UK.

“I spoke with the Prime Minister. We are in deep discussions. A very sad situation. It certainly looks like the Russians were behind it.”

In a statement, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said additional sanctions are planned against Russian government officials and oligarchs.

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