Obama's secret struggle to punish Russian Federation for Putin's election assault

General view of Angra Nuclear power plant in Angra dos Reis Brazil Wednesday Aug. 31 2011

Brazilian President Michel Temer expressed his confidence on Wednesday that Russia would successfully prepare for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and wished Russian President Vladimir Putin success in hosting the world football tournament. While Obama approved the operation, it would be up to Trump to ever use it. Only Obama and three senior aides were permitted to see it.

The implants, developed by the National Security Agency (NSA), are created to hit Russian networks deemed "important to the adversary and that would cause them pain and discomfort if they were disrupted", a former USA official told the Post. After months of discussions with various advisors, Obama enacted a series of responses, including shutting down two Russian compounds, sanctioning nine Russian entities and individuals, and expelling 35 Russian diplomats from the US.

The report says then Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan first alerted the White House in early August 2016 that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered an operation to defeat or at least damage Hillary Clinton and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly - and often tauntingly - denied that his government interfered in the 2016 US presidential race. The Post says the Central Intelligence Agency package came with instructions that it be returned immediately after it was read and meetings in the situation room followed the same protocols as planning sessions for the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden to avoid leaks.

"[Friday]'s Washington Post story provides shocking new detail of what many of us have asserted all along: that the Obama administration abjectly failed to deter Russian aggression, including Vladimir Putin's ultimate attack on our interests and values - the active, purposeful effort to undermine the integrity of American democracy and shift the outcome of last year's election", McCain said in a statement.

In July, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began its probe into Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin - and the hacked DNC emails were published by WikiLeaks on July 22.

Trump's alleged ties to Russian Federation have received so much attention, including investigations by a special counsel and two congressional committees, that the adequacy of the Obama administration's response has largely escaped scrutiny. "Importantly, we did that". Those included proposed cyberattacks on Russian infrastructure, the release of CIA-gathered material that might embarrass Putin and economic sanctions, the newspaper reported. "Why didn't they stop them?" "I feel like we sort of choked". "But it didn't happen", a senior Department of State official lamented to The New York Times in December.

On 7 October, meanwhile, the White House issued a delicately worded statement saying that the USA intelligence community was "confident" that the Russian government was behind the hack of the DNC.

"The punishment did not fit the crime", former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said of the U.S. sanctions.

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