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>> After a delay that raised an outcry in Washington, the Trump administration on Thursday unleashed a barrage of new sanctions against Russia for alledged meddling in the 2016 presidential race. The Treasury Department penalized two Russian Intelligent Services in a so called troll farm that US officials says waged a disinformation campaign aimed at helping Donald Trump win the White House.
The sanctions also targeting 19 individuals, including a Russian oligarch named Yevgeny Prigozhin who has close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin. But the administration still hasn't implemented a separate set of sanctions ordered up by Congress last year. Leading to accusations of foot dragging. Warren Strobel is on the story.
>> So the reaction from Capitol Hill today is welcoming what>> President Trump and Treasury have done but saying it's not nearly enough. There's been a lot of criticism from Congress and others that Trump has not led a strong campaign to try and stop whatever Russia intends to do to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections here in the United States.
Congress passed a series of sanctions including sanctions specifically against oligarchs who are close to Russian President Putin.>> On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said more sanctions against Russian oligarchs are on the way that would sever all access to the US financial system. Many of those targeted by the new sanctions also face criminal charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
They're accused of posing as Americans in a multi-million dollar effort to disrupt the presidential race through spying and online propaganda. Several former Trump campaign officials have also been swept up in Mueller's probe, which Trump has repeatedly dismissed as a witch hunt.>> Trump has never fully accepted the conclusions of the US intelligence community that Russia meddled in the election, and meddled in that election in order to help his campaign.
But more recently with Mueller's indictment of Russian Internet troll factory and several Russian individuals, Trump has changed his tune a little bit and seemed to finally accept the fact that Russia did meddled in the election. What he won't agree to, or what he denies, is that Russia colluded with his campaign in order to help him.
>> The flurry of sanctions coming after the United States, United Kingdom and other Allies accused Russia of reckless and irresponsible conduct after a former Russian spy was poisoned by a military grade nerve agent outside London. President Trump commenting on that case Thursday from the oval office.>> It certainly looks like the Russians were behind it.
Something that should never ever happen.>> The Treasury Department also warned that Russian government hackers are targeting the US energy grid. The Russian news agency Ifax is already reporting that Moscow plans to retaliate for the sanctions further, deepening the freeze between the two nations.