17:54 GMT15 May 2021
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    Outgoing President Barack Obama did not need "additional evidence" regarding alleged Russain hacking of the US presidential election before imposing more sanctions on Moscow, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said in a press briefing on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Outgoing President Barack Obama did not need to wait until he received a complete report on Thursday about hacking and the US elections before taking action against Russia, Earnest said.

    "There was no need to wait for additional evidence to substantiate the kind of response that was put forward," Earnest stated. "[T]he unprecedented nature of the statement that was issued by the intelligence community a month before the election… should be a clear indication to everybody of the depth of conviction, the high confidence that the intelligence community had in the conclusions that they publicized back in October."

    Last week, the Obama administration ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, the closure of two Russian diplomatic compounds and new sanctions against six Russian individuals and five entities. The administration stated the measures were taken in response to alleged Russian interference in the US 2016 election.

    Earnest noted that the report does not just focus on Russian interference in the last election, but also in past US elections by other actors.

    Russian officials have repeatedly denied involvement in the 2016 US election, calling the allegations absurd and noting that they are intended to distract the US public from revelation of corruption and other pressing domestic concerns.

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    sanctions, Russian hacking, White House, Barack Obama, Russia, US
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