Barack Obama

Obama’s Sanctions Against Russia ‘Overdue’


House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., on Thursday said President Barack Obama’s sanctions against Russia over election-related hacking are “overdue.”

“Russia does not share American’s interests,” Ryan said in a statement after Obama announced a package of sanctions and punishments aimed at Russia over the hacking of American political organizations during the 2016 presidential election. “In fact, it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing dangerous instability around the world.”

Ryan noted that while slapping sanctions against Russia might be appropriate, Russian aggression has grown due to American weakness under Obama.

“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,” Ryan said.

Ryan’s scorn for Russia was reflected in at least one Russian response on the issue.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has taken a similar vein to Ryan’s in noting how America’s weakness under Obama emboldened Russia.

“This is the sign of a possible unraveling of the world order that was established after World War II, which has made one of the most peaceful periods in the history of the world,” McCain has said. “We’re starting to see the strains and the unraveling of it, and that is because of the absolute failure of American leadership.”

Trump, however, has been less interested in imposing sanctions than lawmakers who want further investigations of Russia’s hacking activities.

On Thursday, McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., again called for steps against Russia.

At least one Democrat made it clear Thursday that bipartisan support for a tough line against Russia exists on Capitol Hill.

Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Trump’s team has been “far too close to Russia.” Schumer said he hopes Trump and his team “won’t think for one second about weakening these new sanctions or our existing regime. Both parties ought to be united in standing up to Russian interference in our elections.”

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