In his last three weeks in office, Obama and his administration just announced sanctions on Thursday against Russia’s two leading intelligence services, and at the same time ejecting dozens of intelligence operatives from the United States, as part of a reply to what it says are ‘efforts by Moscow to influence the 2016 election’.
Obama sanctioned the GRU and the FSB which are two of Russia’s intelligence services in addition to other entities and individuals within the GRU with an executive order.
The State Department has declared 35 Russian intelligence operatives “persona non grata” in the U.S., and is shutting down two Russian compounds situated in Maryland and New York, in addition to the sanctions.
Obama said in a statement, “These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior.”
The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are to release declassified information on Russian cyber activity to help identify and detect Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities, Obama announced.
The administration will be providing a report to Congress “in the coming days” about Russian attempts to interfere in the election, as well as previous election cycles, Obama also said.
This news comes a short time after Obama declared there would be a smooth transformation of government to the Trump administration.