President Obama struck back at Russia on Thursday for its efforts to influence the 2016 election, ejecting 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives from the United States and imposing sanctions on Russia’s two leading intelligence services.
The administration also penalized four top officers of one of those services, the powerful military intelligence unit known as the G.R.U.
Intelligence agencies have concluded that the G.R.U. ordered the attacks on the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations, with the approval of the Kremlin, and ultimately enabled the publication of the emails it harvested to benefit Donald J. Trump’s campaign.
President elect Trump on Twitter, after Putin declined to eject American diplomats: “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!”