STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Trump administration finally announces Russia sanctions over election meddling

The Trump administration announced Thursday it is enacting new sanctions on Russia, ...

Posted: Mar 16, 2018 6:42 AM
Updated: Mar 16, 2018 6:42 AM

The Trump administration announced Thursday it is enacting new sanctions on Russia, including individuals indicted last month by special counsel Robert Mueller, in a sweeping new effort to punish Moscow for its attempts to interfere in the 2016 US election.

In enacting the sanctions, the administration is finally meeting a congressional mandate to impose measures punishing Moscow for its cyber intrusion. The delay had led to questions over President Donald Trump's willingness to punish Moscow. The new measures, however delayed, amount to the most stringent punishment yet by Trump for Russia's election interference.

In announcing the measures, the administration also disclosed a Russian attempt to penetrate the US energy grid, and said the new sanctions would punish actors for their participation in other major cyberattacks.

The new punishments include 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. Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, a financial backer to the Internet Research Agency with deep ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is also included.

Known as "Putin's chef," Prigozhin was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller earlier this year for his involvement with the Russian troll farm. Sanctions were also applied on 13 other individuals who were indicted by Mueller for their participation in the election meddling efforts.

In addition to those included in Mueller's indictments, sanctions were slapped on two Russian intelligence agencies, the Federal Security Service and the Main Intelligence Directorate, as well as some of their employees.

The administration also accused Moscow of attempting to hack the US energy grid, a previously undisclosed claim that officials said was orchestrated by Russian intelligence.

"The administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in US elections, destructive cyber-attacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.

In total, the administration applied new sanctions on five entities and 19 individuals on Thursday, including Russians who posed as Americans and posted content online as part of the IRA's attempts to sow discord ahead of the presidential contest. They came as the US joined European allies in blaming Russia for a nerve agent attack in Britain, deeming the action a "clear violation" of international law.

During a meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday with the Irish Taoiseach, Trump told reporters that "it certainly looks like" the Russians were behind the nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom.

"It looks like it," Trump said. "I spoke with the Prime Minister and we are in deep discussions. A very sad situation."

"Something that should never ever happen, and we are taking it very seriously, as I think are many others," Trump said.

The new sanctions would bar the individuals from traveling to the United States, and freeze whatever assets they may have in the country.

The sanctions were applied through executive power as well as through the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which Congress initially passed this summer hoping to pressure Trump into punishing Russia for its election interference.

Trump signed the bill reluctantly in August, claiming it impinged upon his executive powers and could dampen his attempts to improve ties with Moscow.

The measure imposed an October deadline on the administration to produce lists of individuals and entities that could be subject to potential sanctions and a January deadline to impose them. The law required the administration to identify entities that conduct significant business with the Russian defense and intelligence sectors.

The administration missed both by several weeks, claiming necessary work was underway at the State and Treasury Departments to complete the lists.

The delay was seen as sign of Trump's unwillingness to punish Russia for its meddling, which he has downplayed in the past. Members of Congress expressed frustration that their law, which passed almost unanimously, wasn't being enacted.

The White House said on Thursday that Russia had a decision to make as it moves forward.

"They are going to have to decide whether or not they want to be a good actor or a bad actor," press secretary Sarah Sanders said. "I think you can see from the actions we have taken up until this point we are going to be tough on Russia until they start to change their behavior."

On Thursday, administration officials insisted the new measures weren't the end of their efforts to punish Russia.

"By no means will this constitute the end to our ongoing campaign to instruct Mr. Putin to change his behavior," a senior administration official told reporters.

Terre Haute
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 53°
Robinson
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 54°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 50°
Rockville
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 52°
Casey
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 53°
Brazil
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 53°
Marshall
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 53°
Sunny, but cool.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Wednesday: Sunny, cool and breezy. High: 61

Image

All You Need to Know for Wednesday

Image

The Fight For Raises

Image

Gas prices are up; Here's how you can save

Image

Rose-Hulman AD

Image

Bloomfield volleyball

Image

Linton football

Image

Back On Track Clinic

Image

ISU HOMECOMING BUSINESS FOLLOW UP

Image

Olney Park Trail

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1688261

Reported Deaths: 28115
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook63888311249
DuPage1091671385
Will919701133
Lake806751092
Kane68883880
Winnebago41507561
Madison40309602
St. Clair36434602
McHenry35095334
Champaign27178198
Peoria27067370
Sangamon25919287
McLean23203220
Tazewell20751333
Rock Island18988364
Kankakee18036251
Kendall16359115
Macon15402252
LaSalle15119287
Vermilion14564202
Adams13244153
DeKalb12252134
Williamson12126176
Whiteside8351184
Jackson812695
Boone799183
Coles7973128
Ogle763290
Grundy744186
Knox7362169
Franklin7356115
Clinton7149102
Macoupin7035107
Marion6966144
Henry668077
Effingham6678100
Jefferson6604143
Livingston601298
Stephenson592394
Woodford581592
Randolph5578101
Christian538382
Fulton530377
Monroe5278104
Morgan5115100
Logan497375
Montgomery495783
Lee481062
Bureau446291
Saline438169
Perry435975
Fayette434664
Iroquois425577
McDonough378461
Shelby352549
Jersey338553
Lawrence336833
Crawford335330
Douglas330437
Union309448
Wayne307863
White281433
Richland281357
Hancock275135
Clark268040
Cass266931
Pike266458
Edgar261849
Clay261154
Bond258125
Ford247459
Warren245866
Moultrie238733
Carroll237638
Johnson231732
Jo Daviess218429
Massac218151
Wabash217919
Mason214753
Washington213528
De Witt208130
Mercer206437
Greene206040
Piatt204114
Cumberland190726
Menard172913
Jasper162121
Marshall142321
Hamilton134722
Schuyler110210
Brown107110
Pulaski105212
Edwards104218
Stark82128
Gallatin7959
Alexander74512
Scott7146
Henderson71314
Calhoun6952
Hardin61516
Putnam5684
Pope5596
Unassigned1222433
Out of IL190

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 1012606

Reported Deaths: 16567
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1360682133
Lake667261170
Allen58341804
Hamilton46545468
St. Joseph44627619
Elkhart36101512
Vanderburgh32358482
Tippecanoe28053261
Johnson25224447
Hendricks23977362
Porter23018367
Madison18848412
Clark18640254
Vigo17562304
Monroe15340199
LaPorte15249252
Delaware15135264
Howard14839292
Kosciusko12433149
Hancock11788177
Bartholomew11712180
Warrick11314188
Floyd11149216
Wayne11036254
Grant10159220
Morgan9512178
Boone8976116
Dubois8291132
Henry8265155
Dearborn824793
Noble8075106
Marshall7995135
Cass7569123
Lawrence7494172
Shelby7236117
Jackson701990
Gibson6621115
Harrison653293
Huntington6456100
Knox6429107
DeKalb6375102
Montgomery6304112
Miami596298
Putnam584879
Clinton579772
Whitley569756
Steuben568677
Jasper537681
Wabash5372104
Jefferson513997
Ripley502587
Adams484876
Daviess4692115
Scott440576
Greene428496
Clay427760
Wells426388
White421365
Decatur4182105
Fayette407587
Jennings390763
Posey377944
LaGrange362779
Washington360551
Randolph348199
Spencer341243
Fountain337060
Sullivan331252
Starke319871
Owen316271
Fulton315868
Orange295564
Jay286446
Franklin266743
Perry265852
Rush264432
Carroll262534
Vermillion260554
Parke232429
Pike229744
Tipton229359
Blackford195143
Pulaski184757
Newton160448
Crawford160226
Benton151417
Brown147547
Martin139819
Switzerland135611
Warren121416
Union107316
Ohio85013
Unassigned0545