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Obama threatens Russia over Clinton leaks

Notwithstanding that he is due to step down in a month’s time, and despite the fact that the investigation he has ordered into the allegations of Russian hacking has not even reported, US President Barack Obama in an interview with US National Public Radio, is already threatening action against Russia over the DNC and Podesta leaks

His comments are reported to have been as follows

I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections…..we need to take action.  And we will, at a time and place of our own choosing.  Some of it may be explicit and publicised; some of it may not be.

Obama also said that he had warned and threatened Russian President Putin with action over the leaks during the G20 summit in Hangzhou in September

He is well aware of my feelings, because I spoke to him directly about it.

These comments are probably not directed at Russia so much as at Donald Trump.   It is difficult to see what action Obama can authorise against Russia in the last weeks of his Presidency.   Whilst there might be some cyber attacks, the Russians are now alerted to that possibility, and are no doubt already taking precautions against them.

It seems much more likely that what Obama is trying to do is sow more doubts against the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s election in advance of the meeting of the Electoral College on Monday, whilst simultaneously trying to force Donald Trump’s hand by committing the US to an anti-Russian line before Donald Trump becomes President in January.

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