The United States should impose more sanctions on Russia over its alleged role in US election campaign hacks, a senior House of Representatives member said in an ABC broadcast.
When asked how Congress would react if US president-elect Donald Trump reverses the outgoing US administration’s sanctions when he takes office, Democrat Adam Schiff said the reaction would be “even more vigorous, I’m convinced, in favor of stronger sanctions against Russia.”
“We think that more has to be done,” Schiff said. “We don’t think that, frankly, the steps that have been taken are enough of a deterrent, and you’re going to see bipartisan support in Congress for stronger sanctions.”
He added that the move would face strong opposition from Congress supporters of anti-Russian sanctions, such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who would push for another package of sanctions.
On December 29, the outgoing US administration slapped new sanctions on Moscow over the alleged hacking into US political institutions. These sanctions apply to several Russian companies, the Federal Security Service and the Main Intelligence Agency of Russia’s General Staff. Besides that, the US authorities declared 35 Russian diplomats persona non grata and shut down two recreational compounds in New York and Maryland owned by the Russian government.
At a special briefing that followed the announcement, US administration officials admitted that Trump can easily reverse the sanctions imposed by his predecessor. One of the officials, whose name was withheld, said the measures were introduced by Obama’s executive order and can easily be cancelled by a similar document with no Congress approval needed.
Moscow has repeatedly denied any role in cyberattacks. Commenting on the new sanctions, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said they were a manifestation of aggression.