Russian election meddling
The Trump administration has imposed sanctions against 19 Russians and five Russian companies allegedly involved in attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election. The sanctions, announced Thursday, include punishment for 13 individuals who have been indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the investigation into Russian meddling.
Those sanctioned are accused of carrying out malicious cyberattacks intended to disrupt election processes and will have their U.S. assets frozen. Additionally, they are barred from doing business with Americans. The financial sanctions are the strongest response yet from the administration in response to Russia's interference in U.S. politics, reports The Associated Press. In January, Trump failed to meet a congressionally mandated sanctions deadline, which sparked concern that the administration was not tough enough on Moscow.
The sanctions also target the Internet Research Agency, a Russian "troll farm," accused of spreading misinformation "with the purpose or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes." Thirteen IRA employees will be sanctioned, as well as two intelligence agencies and six employees accused of undermining cybersecurity on behalf of the Russian government.
The Treasury Department's announcement of the new measures also described a "destructive and costly" cyberattack last year, that wreaked havoc across Europe, Asia, and the U.S.