Obama Plans Aggressive Retaliation Against Russia For 2016 Election Meddling

The Obama administration is readying plans to retaliate against Russia after the country meddled in this year’s presidential election, according to a new report from the Washington Post.

The Post reports that Obama’s planned counter-attack is part of a series actions the administration will take in response to Russia’s successful effort to influence the U.S. election in favor of Donald Trump.

More from the Post:

The administration is still finalizing the details, which are also expected to include covert action that likely will involve cyber operations, the officials said. An announcement on the public elements of the response could come as early as this week.

The sanctions part of the package culminates weeks of debate in the White House about how to revise an executive order from last year meant to give the president authority to respond to cyberattacks from overseas, but which did not originally cover efforts to influence the electoral system.

With the clock ticking, the White House is working on adapting the authority to punish the Russians, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. President Obama last week pledged there would be a response to Moscow’s interference in the U.S. elections.

Not only is Obama looking to punish Russia from interfering in the U.S. electoral process, but he’s hoping to do it in a way that Donald Trump can’t undo:

“Part of the goal here is to make sure that we have as much of the record public or communicated to Congress in a form that would be difficult to simply walk back,” said one senior administration official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

During the campaign, the president-elect has been shockingly pro-Russia and repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin. He still won’t even admit that the Russians were involved in the hack of the 2016 election. Under a Trump administration, there’s no guarantee that Russia would be held accountable for its unprecedented interference in the presidential election.

As a result, Obama is appropriately acting quickly to ensure not only that Russia will pay, but that the punishment will outlast his presidency.