Obama Says US Will Retaliate Against Russian Interference In Election
Obama made the pronouncement during an interview on US National Public Radio (NPR), broadcast on Friday morning, after the White House accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of direct involvement in cyber attacks designed to influence the last month’s US presidential election.
“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,” Obama told NPR. “And we will, at a time and place of our own choosing.”
“Some of it may be explicit and publicised; some of it may not be,” he stated.
Obama’s remarks came after White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Thursday that based on the views of US intelligence officials, it was “pretty obvious” that Putin was directly involved in the H@cking operation aimed at meddling in the November election.
Asked if Washington believes Moscow successfully rigged the US election, Earnest said there were a “variety of potential explanations, and that’s more of a question for analysts of politics than it is for analysts of intelligence.”
The White House press secretary censured the suspected act by the Russian administration, arguing that the cyber attacks undermined America’s democratic system and favoured President-elect Donald Trump in edging out his rival, Hillary Clinton.
“I don’t think anybody at the White House thinks it’s funny that an adversary of the United States engaged in malicious cyber activity to destabilise our democracy. That’s not a joke,” Earnest said.
“Mr. Trump obviously knew that Russia was engaged in malicious cyber activity that was helping him and hurting Secretary Clinton’s campaign,” he noted.
Trumps meanwhile has ridiculed the allegations that Russia had paved the way for his election victory.
Trump said in a tweet that, “If Russia, or some other entity, was H@cking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?”
The assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that Moscow was involved has been accepted throughout the US government and by top Republican Senators.
The outgoing president has repeatedly said both the Democratic and Republican National Committees were well aware of the H@cking and the Russian threat before the election Day.
Moscow has time and again denied any interference in the presidential election, calling the allegations absurd and an attempt to distract US voters from pressing domestic issues.