Abbreviated pundit roundup: Obama’s sanctions on Russia box Trump inPosted: 2016-12-30
We begin today’s roundup with The New York Times and its editorial in support of the new sanctions against Russia:
While it is definitely too late, and may also be too little, there should be no doubt about the correctness of President Obama’s decision to retaliate against Russia for hacking American computers and trying to influence the 2016 presidential election.
It would have been irresponsible for him to leave office next month and allow President Vladimir Putin to think that he could with impunity try to undermine American democracy. That would have been a particularly dangerous legacy given President-elect Donald Trump’s alarming affinity for Mr. Putin and stubborn refusal to accept the conclusion of American intelligence agencies that Russia’s cyberattacks were aimed at helping him and hurting Hillary Clinton. The president-elect told reporters dismissively before Mr. Obama’s decision was announced that Americans should “get on with our lives” and forget about the hacking scandal. So much for that wishful thought.
John Wagner and Karoun Demirjian at The Washington Post detail Donald Trump’s response:
President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday played down the ramifications of any Russian interference in the U.S. election, saying it is “time for the country to move on to bigger and better things” in a statement issued just hours after President Obama announced sweeping sanctions against Moscow.
Trump, who has for weeks voiced skepticism about Russia’s role in the hacking of Democratic email accounts and other hostile actions, said he would seek to learn more about the situation next week. […] Trump’s posture put him at odds with Republican congressional leaders, who have condemned Russia for its actions, with some suggesting tougher measures than what Obama detailed Thursday afternoon. The president’s retaliation included the removal of 35 Russian government officials and sanctions against state agencies and individuals tied to the hacks.