President Barack Obama issued sanctions against Russian intelligence services and ordered 35 Russian intelligence operatives to leave the country within 72 hours for what U.S. officials say was the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails and Moscow's efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
"I have ordered a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election," Obama wrote in a statement released Thursday, ABC News reports.
"These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior," the president said.
Obama added that all Americans "should be alarmed by Russia’s actions," which were designed to "interfere with the U.S. election process," ABC News reports.
"These data-theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government," Obama said. "Moreover, our diplomats have experienced an unacceptable level of harassment in Moscow by Russian security services and police over the last year. Such activities have consequences."
In addition to the sanctions, Obama is shutting down two Russian compounds, in Maryland and New York, used by Russian personnel.
"We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized," Obama said. "In addition to holding Russia accountable for what it has done, the United States and friends and allies around the world must work together to oppose Russia’s efforts to undermine established international norms of behavior, and interfere with democratic governance."
Obama noted that a full report will be given to Congress in the coming days, outlining what U.S. authorities say was Russia's involvement with the presidential election and "malicious cyber activity related to our election cycle in previous elections," ABC News reports.
Read more at ABC News.