US President-elect Donald Trump has turned down talk of imposing sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow’s alleged interference in the November 8 election.
Talking to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Wednesday night, Trump downplayed the allegations of Russian intervention in the election and stressed the need to move forward.
“I think we ought to get on with our lives,” Trump told reporters.
“I think the computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what’s going on,” he said.
“We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind of security that we need,” he added.
Trump said he has not discussed the issue of sanctions with senators yet but that he “certainly will be over a period of time.”
The administration of President Barack Obama has repeatedly claimed that the hacking attacks weeks before the election against some Democratic organizations were carried out by Russia as part of Moscow’s plan to interfere in the election process in order to sway the vote in Trump’s favor, a claim that has been rejected by Moscow.
According to Obama, US intelligence agencies are in possession of evidence that shows Russian President Vladimir Putin supervised the hacking, which targeted the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and John Podesta, a top aide to defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Several American senators have called on the government to slap sanctions against Russia for its alleged meddling in the election.
‘I don’t know what Sen. Graham is doing’
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Wednesday that Moscow needed to understand it had gone too far during the election, and that new sanctions would target Russian president. “It is now time for Russia to understand – enough is enough.”
In addition, Graham told CNN on Tuesday that “there are 100 United States senators… I would say that 99 percent of us believe that the Russians did this, and we’re going to do something about it.”
“We’re going to have the hearings. We’re going to put sanctions together that hit Putin as an individual and his inner circle for interfering in our election,” he said.
Of speaking with Graham, Trump said, “I don’t know what he’s doing. I haven’t spoken to Sen. Graham. As you know, he ran against me.”
US likely to announce Russia sanctions today
According to reports, the Obama administration is expected to announce what it calls retaliatory actions against Russia on Thursday.
The measures are to be introduced despite warnings by Moscow against more US sanctions. Apart from the sanctions, which involve naming Russian individuals associated with the hacking, purportedly covert cyber attacks are also on Obama’s agenda.
Meanwhile, Moscow has vowed retaliation if Washington issues further economic sanctions over alleged Russian cyber attacks.
“To be honest, we are tired of the lie about the ‘Russian hackers’, which is being poured down in the United States from the very top,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
She warned that the country would respond to any manner of “hostile steps” the US decides to undertake.
Economic sanctions against Moscow were originally introduced in March 2014, after Ukraine’s strategic Black Sea peninsula of Crimea joined Russia following a referendum. Since then, the EU, the US and some other Western countries have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia.