RUSSIA, UNITED STATES IN DIPLOMATIC WAR

* 35 RUSSIAN  DIPLOMATS EXPELLED, * SANSTIONS IMPOSED *  TWO COMPOUNDS CLOSED

By: Harold G. Bailey

WASHINGTON :- Thursday . December 29, 2016

A Diplomatic war erupted between the United States and Russia today, over allegations that  Russia through cyber hacking, interfered in the November presidential elections.

US intelligence has for weeks claimed irrefutable evidence of the cyber attack.

On Thursday, the Obama administration  announced  punishing and sweeping response to the Russian attack.

Thirty-five Diplomats were ordered out of the US within 72 hours. Sanctions were also imposed on Russian individuals and institutions, while two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York were ordered closed.

The administration also took the unusual step of making public part of  the intelligence information that led to its decision. There was bi – partisan support for the measures announced by the White House though some Republicans argued that president Obama and his administration , “did not go far enough.”

Administration officials did made it clear however, that   further [ covert ] actions were at least being considered, but they would not be disclosed to the public at this time.

House speaker Paul Ryan and senators John Mc Cain , Lindsay Graham and Mitch McConnell were among the top Republicans who welcomed the president’s action, even as they said the measures were “too little too late.”

In contrast to their views, president elect Donald J. Trump and some within his transition team  continue to express doubt about the intelligence report, with Trump responding in a statement that “it was time to move on to bigger and better things.”

One of his senior advisors Kellyanne Conway described the action by president Obama as a way “to box in the incoming president.”   She and other top people around Trump have called for “more information from the Intelligence community on the matter.” In a later statement Trump said he will ” meet with the leaders of the intelligence community next week to be briefed on the matter.

For its part Russia continues to deny any involvement in the elections. Late Thursday reports surfaced that it intends to expel 35 American diplomats and close two US institutions operating in Russia.

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