FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal (both D-Conn.) are praising the sanctions authorized by President Barack Obama in response to Russia's attempts to interfere with the U.S. presidential election.
"All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions," Obama said in a statement. The Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election followed "repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior," he said.
Murphy applauded the sanctions and also called for a bipartisan investigation into Russian interference.
Russian President Vladimir “Putin's aggression is a direct attack on our democracy and our institutions of government, and the sanctions and expulsions announced today send a strong, clear message that these actions have consequences,” Murphy said.
Murphy said his Republican colleagues in the Senate have long called out Obama for being too weak on Russia.
“I encourage them to now work with Democrats to conduct a thorough, bipartisan public investigation into Russia’s interference, and make it clear that the United States will not hesitate to impose additional consequences if their illegal, destabilizing actions continue,” said Murphy.
Blumenthal echoed Murphy's stance. "These sanctions are a well-deserved and well-delivered step, long overdue and only the beginning of necessary action in response to Russian cyber attacks on our nation," Blumenthal said.
“A strong, immediate bipartisan Select Committee investigation is vital to buttress additional steps and reveal the full scope and scale of Russian aggression,” he said.
Blumenthal said the American people deserve a thorough, comprehensive inquiry to determine the full extent of hostile action by the Russian government — and to develop appropriate, ongoing enforcement actions and countermeasures.
He added that it will also be the responsibility of the Trump administration “to rigorously enforce these sanctions — a responsibility I hope the President-elect takes with the seriousness it deserves."
As part of the sanctions, Obama expelled 35 Russian intelligence operatives and sanctioned five Russian entities and four people: two Russian intelligence agencies, four officers of the intelligence agency GRU, and three companies that support GRU's operations.This was in response to the alleged Russian cyberattacks on Democratic political organizations during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The U.S. is also shutting down two Russian compounds, in Maryland and New York, used by Russia for intelligence-gathering purposes.
"Russia’s cyber activities were intended to influence the election, erode faith in U.S. democratic institutions, sow doubt about the integrity of our electoral process, and undermine confidence in the institutions of the U.S. government," said a statement from the White House.