U.S. President Barack Obama has vowed that action will be taken against Russia for its alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential election campaign. While talking to U.S. radio station NPR, he said that “we need to take action and we will.”
Russia stands accused by the U.S. for hacking the emails of the Democratic Party, and key Hillary Clinton aide, John Podesta. The accusations have been strongly denied by Kremlin.
President-elect Donald Trump has also dismissed the claim as “ridiculous” and politically motivated. The intelligence agencies say that they have overwhelming evidence which shows that the Russian hackers with links to Kremlin were behind the hacks. A White House spokesman went one step ahead on Thursday and said that President Vladimir Putin was involved in the cyber-attacks.
Hours later, President Obama said:-
I think there’s no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact on the integrity of our elections, that we need to take action and we will, at a time and a place of our own choosing. Some of it may be explicit and publicized. Some of it may not be. Mr. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this because I spoke to him directly about it.
Although Obama has vowed that he will take action, it’s still unclear what action he intends to take, with him leaving the office on January 20.
The disclosure of the emails came at a crucial point in the election campaign, and it was embarrassing for the Democratic Party. A report by CIA had concluded that Russia’s intention was to sway the election in Trump’s favor, but no evidence has been made public.
WikiLeaks published more than 19,000 internal Democratic National Committee emails on July 22, which showed that party officials tried to thwart the campaign of Bernie Sanders, Mrs. Clinton’s rival. Shortly before the Democratic National Convention, the row prompted the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party’s chair. Swathes of emails were published by WikiLeaks in October and November from the account of John Podesta, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign boss. The most damaging revelations were the suggestions that special access to former President Bill Clinton was gained by donors to the Clinton Foundation, and Mrs. Clinton had maintained a close relationship with Wall Street Bankers (which she later admitted on the campaign trial).
Mr. Trump has accused the Democrats of fabricating the Russian intervention to hide embarrassment in the election defeat. He has also expressed admiration for Putin at a number of occasions during the campaign. His pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson has worked closely with the Russians which has raised some suspicion. Mr. Trump tweeted on Thursday that:-
If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?
However, the Obama administration had directly accused Russia in October for hacking U.S. political sites and emails accounts with the aim to interfere in the upcoming election.