Tuesday, 19 March, 2019

Chris Wallace: Trump Is Taking a 'Middle Road' With Russia Sanctions

Patty Aguilar | 17 March, 2018, 22:52

The U.S. administration announced extensive sanctions against Russia on Thursday morning, which included sanctions on the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm that produced divisive political posts on American social media platforms during the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has also joined European allies in condemning Moscow for its alleged involvement in the nerve agent attack on a Russian double agent on British soil last week. "But more must be done", Republican House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce added.

The direct condemnation of Moscow's hacking escalates and publicizes what has been a simmering cyber conflict between the USA and Russian Federation. -Russian relations plunged again.

The Treasury Department highlighted continuing Russian destabilizing activities, including the 2016 election and the NotPetya attack, a cyber-attack attributed to the Russian military on February 15. She insisted the United States stands in "absolute solidarity" with Britain after the attack.

US intelligence officials recently testified that the Kremlin appears to believe it can launch hacking operations against the West with little fear of significant retribution. The administration also said Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 usa elections.

Treasury Secretary Steven T Mnuchin said in a statement: "The Administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in U.S. elections, destructive cyberattacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure".

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He claimed the U.S. move was created to coincide with Russia's presidential election on Sunday. The U.S. government has helped the industries expel the Russians from all systems known to have been penetrated, but additional breaches could be discovered, officials said. Mnuchin did not give a time frame for those sanctions, which he said would sever the individuals' access to the USA financial system.

The Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry lobbying group, said the Russian hacking campaign targeting US infrastructure "demonstrated that America's nuclear plants can withstand a nation-state sponsored attack".

The FBI, Homeland Security and the nation's intelligence agencies were apparently sufficiently persuasive in convincing even this see-no-Russian-evil president that indeed for the past year Russian intelligence (and their like-minded private partners) have infiltrated the USA energy and nuclear infrastructure, along with water supplies, aviation and the manufacturing sector.

"We were able to identify where they were located within those business systems and remove them from those business systems", the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Trump called it "something that should never, ever happen, and we're taking it very seriously, as I think are many others".

In addition, sanctions were slapped on two Russian intelligence agencies, the Federal Security Service and the Main Intelligence Directorate, as well as some of their employees.

Thursday's action blocks all property of those targeted that is subject to USA jurisdiction and prohibits American citizens from engaging in transactions with them. "Except that now I will stop going to McDonald's".

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