President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming press secretary suggested on Sunday that the Obama administration’s sanctions against Russia might have been motivated more by politics than by national security.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 1, 2017
Washington Examiner reports,
Sean Spicer said on ABC News that Trump’s camp has questions about why President Obama imposed historically tough sanctions against Russia’s hacking of Democratic Party operatives but had no public response when China stole the personal information of millions of federal workers in 2015.
“One of the questions that we have is why the magnitude of this,” Spicer said when asked about the sanctions against Russia. “Is that response in proportion to the actions taken? Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t.”
“In 2015, China took over 1 million records, sensitive data, people like me who have worked in the government at any time, classified or personal information,” he said. “Where we live, things that we had written down on our applications, on our security clearances.”
“A White House statement wasn’t even issued. No action publicly was taken. Nothing,” Spicer said. “Nothing was taken when millions of people had their private information, including information on security clearances that was shared.”
“So there is a question about whether there’s a political retribution here, versus a diplomatic response,” he said of Obama’s response to Russia.
Spicer said Trump would sit down this week and get fully briefed on the sanctions, and he indicated that the information the president-elect receives then could help resolve some of these questions.
In response to stolen emails from Democrats, Obama expelled 35 Russian intelligence operatives and closed two Russian compounds in the U.S. He also called the situation a “national emergency.”
Spicer noted that this was the toughest diplomatic response seen in decades.
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