Trump Aide: Obama’s Russia Sanctions May Be Disproportionate

Trump Aide: Obama’s Russia Sanctions May Be Disproportionate | Russian officials harshly critical of Obama’s measures

Speaking on ABC’s This Week, President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming press secretary Sean Spicer expressed concerns about the Obama Administration’s announcement of anti-Russia sanctions and expulsions last week, saying he was concerned the actions were “disproportionate” to what Russia was accused of in the first place.

The Obama Administration has accused Russia of hacking attacks against the Democratic Party as an attempt to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and expelled 35 Russian diplomats, shut down two diplomatic compounds, and imposed a flurry of other sanctions on Russian officials and even some private citizens.

The Trump Administration has expressed serious doubts about the claims, and Obama is under growing pressure to provide some concrete evidence to back the accusations. The absence of such evidence makes a lot of the what and how behind Russia’s putative plot highly speculative.

Russian officials have been harshly critical of the Obama Administration for the latest moves, saying they view it as an action of an “embittered” outgoing president. Russia has denied any hacking involvement, and said they don’t intend to retaliate, expecting Trump to reverse the measures as soon as he takes office.

The incoming Trump administration seems somewhat split on the matter, however, as while Trump himself was very critical of the sanctions, as was Spicer, John Bolton, who is being considered for a top State Department position, complained Obama didn’t impose nearly enough sanctions.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of

  • George Kafantaris

    Not only the world, but Russia itself would have been better off without Putin — and a long time ago. Intrigue is not helpful in business where predictability, uniform rules and fair dealings are paramount. Yet Putin has meddled in just about all Russian businesses — and in just about all aspects of Russian life — with the end result being that he kept the country from finding its own way after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    Indeed, without Putin Russia now would have had a robust and diverse economy to the benefit of all its citizens.
    Too bad Russians don’t see it that way, preferring instead to have their pride restored. Putin obliged them in that regard and restored much of their old Soviet Union pride. But Russians still can’t take their pride to the bank.
    Nor can Russia still demand to be treated like a superpower with its monolithic oil economy and a still-nonexistent manufacturing base. Strength in today’s world is measured in economic terms.

    • John Wells

      Russia and Putin wanted to join the EU, NATO and be friends with the West. They still do. The state of Russia’s economy is partially due to Western sanctions. To blame Putin for imposed external economic factors that have stymied the Russian economy is bogus.

      • Don

        You are so right! But isn’t it obvious that even this site is infested with people like George who is trying to encourage the sable rattling against Russia, by demonizing Putin.

        I think the only hope right now is in Americans coming to realize what’s at stake and the risks of trying to beat up on Russia. Sadly, the only thing that can do that would be a show of strength by Russia. Sadly, because the US would probably react and then all HELL would break loose.

  • John Wells

    Putin replaced the joke of a man and an alcoholic which saw Russia deteriorate into a crime-ridden oligarchy, and making sweetheart deals at the expense of the Russian population.

  • 02.01.2017 New York Times Continues Lying About Ukraine

    The New York Times’s hiding — for nearly three years after this massively important historical event — the U.S.-imposed bloody coup that occurred in Ukraine during February 2014, makes the Times’s hiding of it from the public, become by now no longer merely egregious ‘news’-reporting, but finally lying about history.

    • Don

      The American people will not speak up and oppose it. Just in case you don’t understand that then that’s where the fight is. It’s mission #1 to shrink their fu–ing propagandized minds and make them accept that Putin and Russia isn’t the enemy. Right now, the NYT is just getting a free pass.

      • Here is the real culprit. Dec 12, 2016 Georgia Official Says Homeland Security Tried To Hack Their State’s Voter Database

        While most of the country frets over Russia’s role in the 2016 election, the state of Georgia has come forward saying that they’ve traced an IP from a hack of their voter database right back to the offices of the Department of Homeland Security. Apparently we need to focus on protecting our vote from our own government.

        • Don

          I can sympathize with you and even support anything that opposes the establishment. My agenda is not confusing in the least. But I am not going to place any bets on something that comes out of Georgia which could be more interested in domestic politics than the real fight over better relations with Russia. Just call me cautious. Also, I’m a Canadian and have no interest in your domestic politics.

          I continue to maintain that the US is the problem and there’s really no division between the D’s and the R’s on continuing the cold war tactics with Russia. In fact, the only possible hope now would be Trump if it wasn’t that Trump is only false hope. He wouldn’t have the balls to go against the flow, much less the ability to do so.

          luv from Canada.

  • Don

    Well done Jason Ditz. Mentioning Bolton’s views is the big disqualifier of Trump’s views he’s only trying to keep in the discussion. He’s not opposed to Bolton or any of the others of Bolton’s ilk.
    If Trump even attempted to improve US/Russia relations he would be pounced upon by the entire country and both political parties so hard that he would be crushed within the first month of his pres act. For that reason, he won’t.

    But here’s the important part Jason: When he doesn’t do what he said on improving relations with Russia, he will be popular with the entire country for not. That’s what everybody on this site, including Raimondo, is not getting!

    luv from Canada.