U.S. hits Russia with fresh sanctions over election meddling, cyber attacks

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U.S. slaps sanctions on Russia for 2016 election meddling
The Trump White House has announced the toughest sanctions yet against Russia for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election. As Jackson Proskow reports, they come as Trump takes a tough stance on Russia's alleged poisoning of a former double agent in the U.K – Mar 15, 2018

The United States slapped sanctions on 19 Russian individuals and five groups, including Moscow’s intelligence services, for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and malicious cyber attacks, the Treasury Department said on Thursday.

READ MORE: Vladimir Putin on alleged Russian interference in U.S. election, says ‘I do not care’

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said there would be additional sanctions against Russian government officials and oligarchs “for their destabilizing activities.” Mnuchin did not give a timeframe for those sanctions, which he said would sever the individuals’ access to the U.S. financial system.

“The administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in U.S. elections, destructive cyber-attacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure,” Mnuchin said in a statement.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign using hacking and propaganda, an effort that eventually included attempting to tilt the race in U.S. President Donald Trump’s favor. Russia denies interfering in the election.

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U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Feb. 16 brought charges against 13 Russian individuals and three Russian companies, accusing them of participating in a criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper in the 2016 campaign.

The indictment said Russians adopted false online personas to push divisive messages, traveled to the United States to collect intelligence and staged political rallies while posing as Americans.

READ MORE: Putin rules out extraditing Russians indicted by U.S. for election-meddling

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Those targeted by the new sanctions include the Russian nationals and entities charged by Mueller.

The new sanctions also include Russian intelligence services, the Federal Security Service (FSB) and Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), and six individuals working on behalf of the GRU.

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