Obama Mulls ‘Retaliation’ Against Russia Over Claimed Hacks

White House Says US Won't Announce Revenge Attacks in Advance

by Jason Ditz, October 11, 2016

According to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, President Obama is actively considering retaliatory moves against Russia in response to putative hacking attacks that the Obama Administration has blamed on the Russian government.

Earnest insisted that the White House would not announce the revenge attacks themselves in advance, and that the US would ensure that whatever revenge attacks it does conduct on Russia would be “proportional” to whatever they accuse Russia of doing.

The allegations have centered on the idea that Russia is hacking the Democratic Party to try to get Donald Trump elected, and are trying to “hack the election” in some other vague terms. Evidence that Russia was behind the hacks is sorely lacking, though repeated allegations have built a consensus around this claim.

It is unclear what form the revenge moves will take, but administration officials have previously suggested military action would be appropriate in certain cases of cyber attacks, and the Treasury Department is also talking imposing new sanctions. The US makes anti-Russia moves pretty regularly right now anyhow, so it may be hard to tell the difference, barring some huge, war-starting incident.

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