President Barack Obama has done what he promised to do: strike back at Russia over reports that the Russians hacked into our nation’s presidential election system.
Obama kicked out dozens of Russian intelligence operatives. The official reason for their expulsion was because of harassment of U.S. officials in Russia.
Yeah, sure it is.
The individuals expelled are believed to have been involved in cyberactivity relating to the election.
Obama also leveled economic sanctions against two Russian intelligence organizations.
What effect will this have? How does it prevent future hacking? How much will it deter other nations from trying what U.S. officials believe the Russians did — whatever it was?
I’m not qualified to answer any of that.
However, I will insist — as will others — that the new president keep his hands off the sanctions that the current president has instituted against Russia.
Donald J. Trump, to his discredit, has dismissed the intelligence analysts’ professional opinion that the Russians meddled in the U.S. election process. To whatever extent the interference determined the election outcome remains to be discovered.
Given Trump’s cavalier dismissal of the CIA and other intelligence organizations’ conclusions about Russian involvement, my strongest hope is that he follows through with what his immediate predecessor has done.
Failure to do so could send a disturbing message about the where new president’s loyalties might lie.