President Barack Obama’s response to alleged Russia hacking attacks was “disproportionate,” says a top aide to Donald Trump, noting that the Republican president-elect is likely to roll back some of his predecessor’s actions against Moscow once he takes office.
Kellyanne Conway, who led Trump’s presidential campaign, made the remarks on Monday night, when answering a question by USA Today on whether Trump would review any of Obama’s “steps” against Russia.
“There does seem to be a disproportionate response, a punitive one, by President Obama in the instance of the alleged Russian hacking,” Conway said.
“I predict that President Trump will want to make sure that our actions are proportionate to what occurred, based on what we know,” she added.
In late December, Obama ordered a series of economic sanctions against Russia and ordered 35 Russian diplomats to be expelled over allegations that Moscow had tried to influence the November 8 presidential election in the US.
According to a recent report by US intelligence agencies, “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election.” Moscow has categorically dismissed the allegation.
Put together by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Security Agency (NSA) , the report charged that Putin “sought to help” Trump by launching a smear campaign against Clinton.
Trump has disputed the report, arguing that these were the same agencies that falsely claimed in 2003 that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
The real estate developer has also praised “very smart” Putin for not retaliating Obama’s actions and waiting instead for the next administration to take over.
Conway’s comments came shortly after the US Treasury Department announced a new set of sanctions against five prominent Russian figures over what it called human rights abuses.
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