The Obama administration hit back at Russia Thursday in retaliation for hacking Democratic Party emails aimed at influencing the 2016 presidential election.
In an executive order, President Barak Obamaejected 35 Russian intelligence operatives from the U.S. and imposed sanctions on five Russian entities, the New York Times reported.
The order, which also named specific officials and is expected to show clear evidence linking the cyber-attacks to Russian intelligence agencies, is the strongest response ever to cyber-hacking.
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In anticipation of the sanctions Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump told Reutersfrom his seaside resort in Mar-a-Lago, "I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on."
The Russian government has repeatedly denied responsibility for the attacks, Bloomberg reported.
The president-elect will now have to decide whether to lift the sanctions when he takes office next month. To do so, he would have to effectively reject the findings of the Obama administration's investigation into the cyber-attacks.
To impose the penalties, Bloomberg said, the U.S. would have to expand a 2015 executive order issued by Obama, allowing him to impose economic penalties after a cyber-attack.
The hackers leakedemails stolen from the Democratic Party and other political affiliatesin an attempt to thwart Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to the Times.
Among those targeted in the sanctions are two Russian intelligence agencies and officials therein. The U.S. also is sanctioning some Russian state institutions and cyber companies associated with them.