Obama orders sanctions against Russian officials, intelligence services in response to election hacking

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 16: U.S. President Barack Obama answers questions during a news conference in the Brady Press Breifing Room at the White House December 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. In what could be the last press conference of his presidency, afterwards Obama will be leaving for his annual family vacation in Hawaii. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

HONOLULU  — President Barack Obama ordered sanctions against Russian officials and intelligence services in response to election hacking on Thursday.

The country will also kick out 35 Russian intelligence operatives and close two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland in response to election hacking.

“All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions,” Obama said in a statement.

U.S. intelligence officials are confident Russia was behind several compromises of e-mails.

“The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. “These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.”

Homeland Security and the FBI are releasing information on Russian intelligence activity to help people identify and disrupt “Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities,” Obama said.

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has called for Americans “to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’” Trump has repeatedly dismissed claims that Russia was involved in hacking during the election.

“If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act,” he tweeted on Dec. 15. “Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?”

House Speaker Paul Ryan said the sanctions against Russia were overdue.

“Russia does not share America’s interests,” Ryan said. “In fact, it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing dangerous instability around the world.”

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