Obama Administration Preparing Retaliatory Steps Against Russia Over Hacks

The White House plans to announce diplomatic censure, economic sanctions, covert action that could include cyber operations and other measures as punishment for Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election through cyber intrusions, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

"If Washington really does take new hostile steps, they will be answered", official representative for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, wrote in a statement.

The measures are separate from the intelligence review of foreign cyber-interference ordered by the president earlier this month.

Goldman stated that the Obama administrations would have to "engage in some legal acrobatics to fit the DNC hack into an existing authority, or they need to write a new authority".

One anonymous USA official stated that the planned sanctions would be created to not only punish the Putin government but to serve as a warning against any governments that hope to influence future presidential elections with cyber espionage.

But the damage had already been done.

The official compared that option to Russian military and civilian intelligence agencies providing hacked material to the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks and trying - unsuccessfully, the official said - to cover their tracks. "The overarching campaign in the information war".

"Our goal continues to be to send a clear message to Russian Federation or others not to do this to us, because we can do stuff to you", the president said.

Obama administration officials have come under attack from Democrats since the election for not sooner taking public action against the Russians. That executive order allows the president to levy economic sanctions against hackers based overseas who are beyond the reach of law enforcement.

Possibly the most controversial part of Obama's press conference - where the president actually says what types of actions the United States could take against Russian Federation.

The Obama administration will soon announce how it plans to punish Russian Federation for interfering in the US election.

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