A Russian Hacking Scandal

Riley Sims, Reporter

Before leaving office, former President Obama announced that he plans on punishing Russia for its alleged involvement in the 2016 election hacking scandal. Numerous intelligence agencies are confident Russia’s release of stolen emails from numerous politicians did indeed have some influence over President Donald Trump’s win. They speculation is that this was done to boost Trump’s image. The emails released are said to reveal information about the Democratic party, placing Hillary Clinton in a negative light  persuading voters to vote for Trump.

Former President Obama took by ordered Russian diplomats to leave the U.S. and closed down their embassies as punishment. While some feel this punishment was not enough, others think Trump will reverse this action office. During his campaign, Trump made it clear that he plans to improve America’s relations with Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will not kick American diplomats out of Russia in response to Obama’s punishment. Trump called the Russian accusations “ridiculous” and dismissed the issue. In December, former President Obama asked U.S. intelligence agencies  to complete a full review of hacking occurrences during U.S. elections since 2008 before he took office.

Former President Obama received results of this investigation in January.  The report shows that cyber attacks were made on both political parties during this election. To protect the security of their sources, very little information was provided on how these allegations were prove.

Some people wonder why Putin supports Trump. Perhaps it’s because Trump supports many foreign policies Putin has put in place. One such policy is the Russian annexation of Crimea, formerly a part of Ukraine.So far, the only countries that recognize the annexation are Afghanistan, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, but Trump is looking into recognizing the annexation once in office. Putin’s perceived distrust of Clinton traces back to her role as Secretary of State. They did not agree on many issues concerning Syria. Clinton’s criticism of Russia’s parliamentary election in December 2011 also led to some Russian citizens protesting Putin.

This year’s election is over, but the country is still facing the consequences of its complications.