WASHINGTON- The Obama administration plans to announce on Thursday a series of retaliatory measures against Russia for hacking into US political institutions and individuals and leaking information in an effort to help President-elect Donald Trump and other Republican candidates, two US officials said on Wednesday.
Both officials declined to specify what actions President Barack Obama has approved, but said targeted economic sanctions, indictments, leaking information to embarrass Russian officials or oligarchs, and restrictions on Russian diplomats in the United States are among steps that have been discussed.
One decision that has been made, they said, speaking on the condition of anonymity, is to avoid any moves that exceed the Russian election hacking and risk an escalating cyber conflict that could spiral out of control. One example of an excessive step might be interfering with Russian internet messaging.
The FBI, CIA and Office of Director of National Intelligence agree that Russia was behind hacks into Democratic Party organizations and operatives ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election. There is also agreement, according to US officials, that Russia sought to intervene in the election to help Trump, a Republican, defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Russia has repeatedly denied hacking accusations. Trump has dismissed the assessments of the US intelligence community.
Obama, in an interview earlier this month with NPR, said, "We need to take action and we will" against Russia for interfering in the US election.