Obama to Announce Anti-Russia Action ‘Soon’

Officials Say Announcement Could Come This Week

With just a few weeks left in power, President Obama is running out of time to make good on his promise of retaliatory action against Russia to “punish” them for what he and other officials say is an attempt to “hack” the US election. Officials say he’s going to do so “soon,” however, and could make announcements as soon as this week.

The public announcements, officials say, are expected to include economic sanctions and diplomatic moves to “censure” the Russian Federation. The US is also expected to launch cyber-attacks against Russia, though how much of this is public remains to be seen, with Obama previously saying some would be public and some wouldn’t be.

The Hillary Clinton campaign made much of blaming Russia for hacking attacks against the Democratic Party over the summer, building a narrative that claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin had plotted to install Donald Trump as his “puppet.” The Obama Administration has mostly endorsed this narrative, though Obama himself has insisted he isn’t sure on the specific motives.

Russia has denied allegations of trying to influence the US elections, and President-elect Trump has denied being in league with Russia. The narrative has gained a lot of traction among US hawks, however, in no small part because it is being used as a pretext for revenge.

Sen. Lindsey Graham once again endorsed the allegations, despite the lack of public evidence for it, insisting “99 percent of senators” believe Russia was responsible for the hacks. Graham insisted Russia is interfering in all election everywhere around the world, and promised Senate action to “hit” Russia over it.

Russian officials have suggested they expect cyber-attacks to target their financial sector primarily, and indeed a previous round of cyber-attacks hit Russia during the week of the US elections, targeting banks, though it did limited damage.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • richard young

    Our (US) Government’s castigating Russia for intervening in other nations’ elections is ludicrous, in view of the demonstrated record of US interventions in other nations’ elections all over the planet for at least the last half-century. Our State Department even has a formal unit whose permanent task is to bring about “transitions” of particular foreign governments which are not deemed sufficiently supportive of US policies. No doubt Russia has intervened in the elections of some foreign nations, particularly in nations immediately bordering Russia; but in comparison with what our Government has long been doing in that regard worldwide, Russia is a minor player in the foreign-intervention field. And as to cyber-warfare, the only major attack that has been thus far reported was the joint US-Israel cyber attack a few years ago on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities, which reportedly caused substantial physical damage. Surely President Obama has better things to do with his dwindling days of power than needlessly to inflame what are already tense relations with Russia. For example, he might summon Israel’s ambassador and inform him that Israel’s insulting and false accusations that the US was responsible for the UN Security Council’s recent resolution, condemning Israel for its blatantly illegal settlement in occupied Palestinian territory, are unacceptable and cannot be tolerated by our President or by any other self-respecting, loyal American. And/or President Obama might refer Donald Trump’s apparent criminal violation of the Logan Act (making it a felony for “any US citizen” to communicate with a foreign government for the purpose of interfering with the President’s conduct of US foreign policy, as Trump almost certainly did with the Israeli government regarding the UNSC resolution) to the Justice Department, for investigation and if appropriate prosecution.

  • eric

    Putin is probably influencing elections all over the world just like Graham says The world see Putin as smart and good leader and the other countries think they would like a leader like that too

  • lordbaldric

    Obama can go to Hell! He’s trying to spoil any Trump effort at improving US-Russia relations.

  • eric

    There is a Oklhoma republican paper that endorsed Hillary because they listed all of Trump faults He did not act presidential and had bad Manures . They admitted Hillary had made mistakes to on Bengauzi and E mails . I want to tell them mistakes are not the problem for me neither are Manures . But two political parties with much the same agenda have kept us in one war or another for over thirty years .lliciened a lying media the has kept us pretty much misinformed rather than informed So in each and every one of these wars we were always on the wrong side too They both have about bankrupt our country and your stupid news service want to talk about Trumps rude behavior and bad manures . Its a Wonder your paper has not lost more than a couple hundred subscriptions . It might have served us better if it had been burnt down .

    • Selous Scouts

      The Clinton Crime Cartel’s crimes stretch all the way back to at least Mena when he was governor. I had also heard Bill went to the Soviet Union during his college days, and Hillary was kicked off the WaterGate Commission. The Clinton Body Count is another.


    • therevolutionwas

      nothing worse than bad Manures…stinks up the whole process.

    • Don

      eric you fool, mind your ‘manures’! The media in all forms is echoing the mindset of your entire country. What do you expect them to do when it’s been made crystal clear by both parties and the population that there is not going to be any friendly relations with the ‘evil’ boogeyman commies in Russia.

      Face it eric, you get to blame yourselves for leading the media into saying what the people want to hear. Sometimes people who hang around antiwar sites seem to forget that there’s an entire country out there that is not out of step. It’s us eric. We who thought for a minute that the US could be friendly toward Russia. Get over it!

      luv from Canada.

  • armdkny


  • Selous Scouts

    With how “Zealous” a supporter of the zio-masonic state Graham is, one wonders what dirt did the Mossad get on him to account for it?

  • EME

    Oboomer has always been a lapdog for the warmongering establishment.
    If the Russians ‘were’ successful with rigging USG elections, why is
    Congress an Israeli whorehouse? I would think it would be Mr. Putin’s
    ‘best-little-ole whorehouse in Washington DC.

    • Don

      The entire US is rabid for wars, as we now know with both parties coming down solid against any cooperation with Putin/Russia.

      At least Obama did some good to stop that so maybe you should start considering him about as good as it will ever get. Or give Trump 6 months and then there will be no mistaking that Obama was as good as it was going to get.

      Syria? No US led war.
      Iran? A really “bad” deal for peace.
      Israel? Allowing the UNSC vote against Israel.
      And more. Let’s all try to remember how it was with Obama, knowing now that both parties opposed pretty well everything he tried to do.

      Because if the world survives without a nuclear war for 4 years of Trump, we’ll be god damned lucky!

  • GeorgyOrwell

    Obama has been such a contradiction to me. On one hand he has done several things that I strongly agree with: the opening up to Cuba, the Iran Deal, and now abstaining in the UN resolution condemning the settlements.

    On the other hand there is everything else too numerous to mention. The bad greatly outweighs the good.

    Looking forward to the coming Trump administration is see the same dynamic: I expect the very bad to greatly outweigh the very good.

    One very good hopefully should be the reproachment with Russia. The Neo-cons are against reproachment with anybody ever.

    • inblack99

      Check your spelling on “rapprochement”.

    • Don

      Your first paragraph says it. Then I hear your head fighting with the contradictions. Do have any indications you can offer up to say that Trump will equal any of that good? Iran deal? Peaceful relations with Russia? Sticking to the resolution on Israel?

  • RickR35

    This clown can’t go to his California mansion soon enough.

    • Don

      Then the US congress will change everything! Right rick? Even though the US congress’s politicians of both parties are ROCK SOLID against any cooperation with Putin/Russia. What a difference Trump will make after Obama is gone! Right rick? You going to make a prediction now on that?

      • RickR35


        • Don

          Don’t play dumb rick. You either have confidence in Trump doing something good and in the antiwar interest, or you don’t.

          luv from Canada.

  • unam_sanctum

    Wet noodle slap, nothing will happen.

  • leibniz09

    This is sort of a ditzy article because it does not fact or that
    Obama may well have already struck!—The assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey and another Russian Diplomat and the downing of the Russian Plane during the Christmas holidays……

    Remember Obama’s threats in the NPR interview Dec 15
    “”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, and
    we will, at a time and place of our choosing. Some of it may be explicit
    and publicized; some of it may not be. But Mr. Putin is well aware of
    my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it.”

    Obama is a killer, he has bragged about being a killer. He destroyed Libya, Syria, Ukraine…. he arms terrorists, because Obama is a terrorist.

  • robert

    An over-two-month transition is just stupid. Many or most parliamentary systems provide for transfer of government the next day. The tendency of leftists is to cause as much damage as possible before they go.
    An example is also provided by corporations, who immediately escort a fired executive or other individual out the door.

    • Don

      You’ve bought into the suspense too robert. Forget it robert, it’s no more than a game to make it look like Trump’s new authority is being undermined in these last few days of Obama’s regime.

      It’s time to start thinking outside the box robert. Everybody knows the script and it says clearly that Putin/Russia is the enemy and will remain the enemy. Only the dimmest of bulbs are holding out hope that Trump will change things. The public humiliation of antiwar.com’s biggest supporters is what I’m looking forward to!

  • Bianca

    He and the elites that propped up a lawyer and a politician to the highest office — are of a peculiar type. They will pursue their goals no matter what — until they are stopped.
    They will recruit to their side any emotionally charged constituency in order to increase the drama and pursue primary goal. Thry will collect any entity that is interested in harming Russia. From terrorists to Baltic pawns. Russia is now in the crosshairs of the most powerfull lobby, as it is protecting the survival of a sovereign and secular state in the Middle East. The last one standing. This has been the dream if every Israeli government not to have a strong secular state in its region — unless it is controlled by US. Russia is spoiling the process of returning Middle East to feudalism of caliphates, emirates and sultanates. The commin goal of Israel and Saudi Arabia is the weak collection of monarchies, and permanently isolated Iran. Stopping the economic integration of Eurasia across the vital Middle East towards Turkey and Durope on one end, and Syria to Egypt and Africa, the other. The anti Russian hysteria is almost a carbon copy if Vienna press leading up to WWI. And everywhere they saw Russia and its influence. And all media in Vienna was in the hands of one group of people. Amazing.

    The powers attibuted to Putin are nothing short of spectacular. This is an odd way to address the shortcomings of Hillary’s e-mail technology. And even worse way of explaining away the whistleblowers and leakers of all kinds.

    Obama will do what his masters tell him. He has also harmed Trump by the resolution passed in UN. Instead of Trump focusing on peace process, he will have to spend a lots of political capital comforting inconsolable Israel and having to deal with all bad countries that voted for it. Not exactly what Trump needed at this time. It is too transparent. Trump in his foreign policy goals announcing him imposing a peace process — and suddenly, Israel goes into full non-cooperative mode, not talking to Palestinians, etc. However, Trump knows reality TV, and can be a drama queen himself, best among best.

    Let us just say that — while we do not know what may happen — something will change. Status quo — the preffered Israeli position — will not hold. Not only that change is necessary to calm the Middle East, but it will in the long run be better for Israel. It cannot remain an isolated entity within the region. Time for Israel to accept that it is located in the Middle East. And yime yo decide on its future as either a secular, multi-national and multi-confessional state, or a religion based state like Saudi Arabia. It will determine the outcome of the negotiations over land and population.

    Obama is acting like he will stay in power. I have never seen before an administration so unlrepared to give it up. And so hostile to the new policies of the incomming administration, that it will go to great lenghts to undermine it before taking office.

    • Don

      Must have a lot to do with the Obama stock photo Jason has used about a dozen times. It’s from one of his speaches on a school shooting.

      The two political parties are rock solid on not allowing any cooperation with Putin/Russia Bianca. It’s got little to do with Obama now but we do know that he attempted cooperation with Russia a few years ago. Knowing what we do now, what chance would Obama have had on that.

      And there’s no way the fact of Obama being hated for the Iran deal can be ignored. Both parties will fall into line on that too because they are fully convinced it’s a bad deal.

      If Trump could even come close to equalling that kind of coup against the politicians then even I would start paying attention and placing some hope in him!

      And so, contrary to what you are guessing might happen, we do know what will happen. Trump has no commitment to his antiwar babbling and he is just temporary false hope. The best that’s going to come out of that is he is serving to demonize Obama.