Russian government hackers have for at least two years attempted cyberattacks on the USA power grid, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said. The Trump administration is right to punish these Russian agencies and individuals since they criminally breached US computer systems. Mueller is also investigating any potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow officials, something Trump denies. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, whom Trump reportedly may fire, condemned Russian Federation in a speech Thursday for being "complicit in Assad's atrocities" in Syria and conducting more than 100 bombing missions in Eastern Ghouta, as well as being "responsible" for the Skripal poisoning.
He said there would be additional sanctions against Russian government officials and oligarchs "for their destabilizing activities" but did not give a time frame for those sanctions, which he said would sever the individuals' access to the United States financial system.
The statement was issued shortly before Washington announced the blacklisting of five entities and 19 individuals for interfering in the 2016 USA presidential election and other malicious cyberattacks, including on America's energy grid.
All it took was a nerve gas attack on British soil, Russian targeting of the US power grid and the indictment of 13 Russian individuals and three corporations last month by special counsel Robert Mueller.
In a prepared statement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: "The administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in US elections, destructive cyberattacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure".
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They said Russian hackers infiltrated the networks that run the basic services Americans rely on each day: nuclear, water and manufacturing facilities, such as factories.
A report from researchers at the American cybersecurity firm Symantec last September warned that Russian Federation could potentially have the ability to cause widespread blackouts across the U.S.
The sanctions prompted a swift threat of retaliation from Moscow, which said a response was already being prepared. "And I think we must take it extremely seriously because of the attacks in Ukraine".
"It's more clear than ever that the president must not interfere with the special counsel's investigation in any way", the New York Democrat said.
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A Democratic senator, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who also sits on the Judiciary Committee, agreed with Tillis and said Thursday's action was "way overdue", accusing Trump administration members of going out "of their way to ignore all the attacks that Russian Federation has made on us".
Saying "more must be done", Mr. Royce said his committee will "keep pushing to counter Russian aggression".
Russian Federation is becoming increasingly isolated after its government was accused earlier this week of carrying out an attack using military grade nerve agent on British sovereign territory in Salisbury.
Earlier on Thursday, U.S., French and Germany leaders joined together with the U.K.to accuse Russian Federation of orchestrating the nerve-agent attack. The discussions, which continued into the 2016 campaign, were about a "real estate deal and nothing more", Cohen said. May said: "we do hold Russian Federation culpable for this brazen, brazen act and despicable act".
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