Outgoing US president Barack Obama has threatened to ‘take action’ against Russia and Vladimir Putin over what he and the CIA contends is unquestionable evidence that the nation hacked Democratic party emails and leaked them in an effort to get Donald Trump elected.
“I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections that we need to take action,” Obama said. “And we will — at a time and place of our own choosing.”
The president continued “Some of it may be explicit and publicized. Some of it may not be. But Mr. Putin is aware of my feelings about this because I spoke to him directly about it.”
Obama made the comments during an interview with NPR’s “Morning Edition.”
It is presumed that Obama is referring to his last encounter with Putin at the G20 summit in China.
Russia hit back at Obama’s comments and the ongoing notion that the country interfered in the US election. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was ‘indecent’ for the US to ‘groundlessly’ accuse Russia of interfering.
“They should either stop talking about that or produce some proof at last. Otherwise it all begins to look unseemly,” Peskov said.
Following comments by Donald Trump earlier this week, when the president-elect asked why Obama was now bringing up the Russian theory, given that it has been floating around for months, several government officials told NBC News that Obama was ‘ignoring’ the issue because the White House thought Hillary Clinton would win.
“They thought she was going to win, so they were willing to kick the can down the road,” said one official.
The report suggests that officials had brainstormed ways of hitting back at Putin, including exposing his relations with oligarchs, or going after Russia’s internet restrictions, in order to allow anti-government dissenters unfettered access.
Trump again waded into the debate Friday, tweeting out the following:
‘Are we talking about the same cyberattack where it was revealed that head of the DNC illegally gave Hillary the questions to the debate?’
Are we talking about the same cyberattack where it was revealed that head of the DNC illegally gave Hillary the questions to the debate?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2016