WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump said it’s time for the US to “move on to bigger and better things” following the sanctions announced by President Barack Obama Thursday against Russia, but said he’d be briefed next week about the issue.
“It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation,” Trump said in a statement.
His remarks are similar to what he said late Wednesday evening that Americans should “get on with our lives” when he was asked about the expected White House announcement.
“I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind of the security we need,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
The President-elect and his transition team have been quick to rebuff the new intelligence assessment and dismiss out of hand any concerns about Russian influence in the election. But he has not publicly indicated whether he would reverse sanctions against Russia over the matter.
Earlier Thursday, Obama’s top adviser on homeland security and counterterrorism said it would be “highly unusual” for Trump to reverse Obama’s sanctions.
“I’m not going to talk about whatever conversations the President and President-elect have had since the election,” Lisa Monaco told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.” “I will say the reversal of sanctions … would be highly unusual. Indeed, the sanctions usually remain in place until the activity and the reasons for them being imposed in the first place has been removed.”
A senior Obama administration official acknowledged to reporters on Thursday that Trump could reverse the sanctions by executive order, but added, “I don’t think it’d make a lot of sense.”
On Thursday, the Obama administration sanctioned four Russian individuals and five Russian entities over the alleged election meddling as well as ordering dozens of Russian diplomats to leave the country. This is the first time the names of Russian officials involved in the hacking have become public on the sanctions list.
“These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm US interests in violation of established international norms of behavior,” Obama said in a White House statement.