Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has thrown his weight behind President Barack Obama’s decision to sanction Russia in response to the country’s alleged hacking which sought to influence the Nov. 8 presidential election.
Ryan, in a statement on Thursday, described Obama’s actions as “long overdue”.
“Russia does not share American’s interests.
“In fact, it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing dangerous instability around the world.
“While today’s action by the administration is overdue, it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia and it serves as a prime example of this administration’s ineffective foreign policy that has left America weaker in the eyes of the world,” Ryan said in the statement.
Many Republican Congress members have criticised Russia’s alleged meddling in the election, which ran counter to Donald Trump’s position on the issue.
The incoming president had, in a series of tweets, dismissed the hacking allegations and even retweeted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tweet against Democratic Hillary Clinton loss of the presidency.
“Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: ‘In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity.’ So true!” Trump had said.
“Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and we tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!”
“If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?”
“Are we talking about the same cyber attack where it was revealed that head of the DNC (Democratic National Congress) illegally gave Hillary the questions to the debate?” Trump had also tweeted.
NAN reports that in the executive order, which Obama signed, the president said he was taking “additional steps to deal with the national emergency with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities”.
“Today, I have ordered a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election.
“These actions followed 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 behaviour.”
“The State Department is also shutting down two Russian compounds, in Maryland and New York, used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes, and is declaring “persona non grata” 35 Russian intelligence operatives.
“Finally, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are releasing declassified technical information on Russian civilian and military intelligence service cyber activity.
“This is to help network defenders in the United States and abroad identify, detect, and disrupt Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities,” Obama said.
Trump is however yet to respond to the latest decision by the outgoing Obama’s administration.