"As the President and his team consider proportional responses, a wide variety of aspects of the situation will be considered," Earnest told reporters. "We will cast a wide net in considering exactly what happened for formulating an effective proportional response."
Earnest explained that proportionality includes things like the impact of the hacking on the election process and its outcome and the sophistication of the malicious activity.
"I would acknowledge that designing a response seems subjective, it is true," he added.
In October, the United States accused Russia of conducting cyberattacks on US election systems to influence the presidential campaign, but did not provide any evidence.
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied the claims as groundless. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that stories about Russian hackers and spies were attempts to distract US voters' attention from internal issues.