U.S. President Barack Obama, pictured at his end-of-the-year press conference at the White House on December 16, 2016, is preparing to take retaliatory measures against Russia based on accusations by the U.S. intelligence community the country was behind the theft and release of emails from several Democratic Party organizations in an effort to affect the presidential election last summer. The public portion of the measures may be announced Thursday, while some type of covert cyber action against Russia is also expected to be carried out but not announced. File photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Amid an expectation the Obama administration will announce a series of actions to get back at Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, President-elect Donald Trump suggested he'd rather move on and forget about it.
President Barack Obama is expected to announce on Thursday public elements of a retaliation at Russia for its role in hacks during the election, and make vague reference to covert action of some sort, but Trump said late Wednesday he thinks a response is unnecessary and the focus should be on better security to prevent hacks in the first place.
Russian officials, including Russian President Vladimir Putin himself, have denied accusations by the U.S. intelligence community that they were behind hacks of Democratic National Committee and other Democratic Party-related servers, which resulted in the theft and release of thousands of emails in an effort affect the election.
"I think we ought to get on with our lives," Trump said during remarks to reporters Wednesday night at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. "I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of the computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I'm not sure we have the kind of security we need."
Obama warned in his weekly radio address on Dec. 16 that some type of response was on the way, but said it may or may not be made public.
With an announcement possible for Thursday, administration officials say the public part of the response is likely to include sanctions and diplomatic censure.
There is likely to also be some sort of covert cyber action, officials say, and the administration is looking to be careful to get its point across while not starting a cyber war with Russia.