Chris Wallace: Trump Is Taking a 'Middle Road' With Russia Sanctions

Five entities and 19 individuals - including the 13 indicted by Mueller as part of his Russian Federation investigation - were sanctioned.

Sixteen of the Russian individuals and entities sanctioned were indicted on February 16 as part of Mueller's criminal investigation.

The Treasury Department said the GRU and Russia's military both interfered in the American election and were "directly responsible" for the NotPetya cyberattack that hit businesses across Europe in June 2017. "A classic bully", the official said of Putin.

"Russia is going to have to make that determination", White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters yesterday. "They're going to have to decide whether or not they want to be a good actor or a bad actor".

Russia had no motive to target Skripal, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, adding that his country would respond by expelling British diplomats "soon".

"The United States is working together with our allies and partners to ensure that this kind of abhorrent attack does not happen again", Sanders said.

It also condemned Russian Federation for hacking the USA energy grid and other critical infrastructure in "a separate attempt".

Nineteen percent said they do not believe Russian Federation intends to attack the U.S. electric grid, while 48 percent said they do not know, according to the poll results.

"Putin constantly attacks our friends".

Gaining access to the networks that are tied to various aspects of USA infrastructure is extremely hard, said Vikram Thakur, of Symantec Security Response.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez said he was glad to see the administration act but noted that Democratic former President Barack Obama's administration had already imposed sanctions on numerous people and entities targeted on Thursday. It said Russian government cyber actors gained access to networks within the nation's energy sector by sending fraudulent emails, known as phishing, and using malware.

Another report released this month by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology added: "Documents that the American social media companies produced for the Committee confirmed that Russian agents were exploiting American social media platforms in an effort to disrupt domestic energy markets, suppress research and development of fossil-fuels, and stymie efforts to expand the use of natural gas".

"We were able to identify where they were located within those business systems and remove them from those business systems", the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Britain on Wednesday announced sanctions against Russian Federation over the attack, including the expulsion of 23 diplomats.

Also this week, the USA government joined European allies in sharply condemning Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in southern England. "He's been very nice to me", Trump said on Fox News in 2016.

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