GOP leader backs Obama’s crackdown on Russia over hacking scandal
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GOP leader backs Obama’s crackdown on Russia over hacking scandal

Paul Ryan calls measures ‘overdue’ and ‘appropriate’ but slams administration’s ‘ineffective foreign policy’; no comment yet from Trump

President-elect Donald Trump talks with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President-elect Donald Trump talks with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan backed President Barack Obama’s announcement Thursday of a series of tough sanctions against Russia including the expulsions of agents and shutting down of Russian compounds on US soil, over its meddling in the presidential elections.

Ryan said the sanctions announced against Russia were “overdue” and “approriate,” but also took a jab at the Obama administration over what he called its “ineffective foreign policy that has left America weaker in the eyes of the world.”

“Russia does not share American’s interests,” Ryan said in a statement, the first GOP leader to have issued a response to the development amid President-elect Donald Trump’s apparent admiration of Russia and its President Vladimir Putin, and his dismissal of Moscow’s role in the elections as described by US intelligence agencies.

“In fact, it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing dangerous instability around the world. While today’s action by the administration is overdue, it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia. And it serves as a prime example of this administration’s ineffective foreign policy that has left America weaker in the eyes of the world,” he said.

Obama announced Thursday that he has “ordered a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of US officials and cyber operations aimed at the US election.”

“These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm US interests in violation of established international norms of behavior.”

“All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions,” Obama added.

Among the measures announced were sanctions against Russia’s FSB and GRU intelligence agencies; the designation of 35 Russian operatives as “persona non grata”; and the closure of two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland that the United States says are used “for intelligence-related purposes.”

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