US President-elect Donald Trump will meet intelligence officials next week “to be updated on the facts” after the Obama administration sanctioned Russian intelligence services, expelled 35 Russian officials and shuttered two Russian-owned compounds in the US.
“It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation,” Trump said.
Trump’s vaguely worded statement, which did not mention Russia directly, came soon after the Obama Administration yesterday announced a series of punitive measures against alleged Russian hackings during the presidential elections.
A top Trump advisor said that it is time to move on. “He’ll receive an intelligence briefing this coming week. And in the meantime, he believes it’s time to move on,” Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the president-elect, told CNN.
“I’ve been reading all the news reports about these retaliations, these sanctions put forward by President Obama and his administration. Some of them seem largely symbolic. The GRU doesn’t travel here, doesn’t keep its assets here. No reason allies will follow suit. We’re yet to see all of the intelligence reports,” she said.
Trump, she noted, believes it’s time to move on to bigger and better things for the country. Meanwhile, announcement of sanctions against Russia was welcomed by lawmakers from across the aisle.
“Russia does not share America’s interests. In fact, it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing dangerous instability around the world. While todays action by the administration is overdue, it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia. It serves as a prime example of this administration’s ineffective foreign policy that has left America weaker in the eyes of the world,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said.
The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama Administration are long overdue, said Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. “But ultimately, they are a small price for Russia to pay for its brazen attack on American democracy. We intend to lead the effort in the new Congress to impose stronger sanctions on Russia,” the two Senators said in a joint statement.
After years of weakness that have invited and encouraged Russian aggression, the actions by President Obama are long overdue, said Senator Marco Rubio. “Vladimir Putin has made it abundantly clear he is not an ally or partner of the United States, and that his interests are fundamentally not our interests,” he said as he welcomed the sanctions against Russia.