Trump admin sanctions Russians for meddling in U.S. polls, cyber attacks

Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin was the most prominent person targeted with the sanctions. He is known as

The Trump administration is imposing sanctions on 19 Russians for alleged interference in the 2016 USA election, including 13 indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

"To hear the President actually speak to camera or speak to the American people and denounce Putin, denounce the Russian government for the steps they are taking, would be, I think, be far more powerful", Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of MI told CNN's Brianna Keilar on Thursday.

"The United States stands in solidarity with its closest ally, the United Kingdom", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, noting that the USA shares Britain's assessment that Russian Federation is responsible for the reckless nerve agent attack on a British citizen and his daughter. At least so far, the nerve agent attack has not killed Skripal.

He described the March 4 attempted assassination of the ex-spy as a "very sad situation".

"It certainly looks like the Russians were behind it... something like that should never happen". And we're taking it very seriously, as I think are many others.

"But the administration has been pretty tough on Russian Federation", he said, noting a White House decision to allow Ukraine to buy United States light weapons.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

LIASSON: Well, as you said, there has been this narrative that the Trump administration and Trump himself is loath to criticize or take action against Vladimir Putin.

"And he didn't impose the full arsenal of sanctions that they have authorized", Wallace added.

Prigozhin tells the state RIA Novosti news agency that he's not anxious by the USA sanctions list.

Prigozhinand others mentioned in the sanctions were indicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian meddling in the election
America hits Russia with new sanctions in bid to tackle country's 'nefarious attacks'

The statement abhorred the "use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russian Federation, (that) constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War".

Explaining the sanctions via a teleconference, several senior US officials said further sanctions and measures will come, according to the White House. They're going to have to decide whether or not they want to be a good actor or a bad actor.

"I think you can see from the actions we've taken up until this point we're going to be tough on Russia until they decide to change their behavior", White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at Thursday's regular briefing in response to a question about whether Russian President Vladimir Putin is "playing" the USA president.

LIASSON: So not a full-throated pushback against Russian Federation, but definitely they're taking steps that they've been reluctant to take in the past.

CNN reported in January that the Trump Organization had voluntarily provided documents on meetings and conversations involving the Trump firm's real estate business to the special counsel. What's the White House saying about that?

That speculation intensified after it was revealed Thursday - hours after the sanctions announcement - that Mueller had subpoenaed documents from the Trump Organization including some to do with Russian Federation. Or maybe they sold some condos to Russian Federation.

The White House says President Donald Trump has been "extremely tough on Russia" during his time in office. His comment provoked fears that the President might try to fire Mueller - a move that would provoke uproar. And Sarah of course repeated that the White House is cooperating also, and of course there's been no collusion, which is what the president says over and over again.

Still, Stephen Hadley, former President George W. Bush's national security adviser, said Trump was moving in the right direction on Russian Federation.

The sea change continued on other fronts as well today.

"It is inexplicable that the president of the United States continues to sit on sanctions that Congress passed, that Congress wants enforced against Russian Federation over this interference", Schiff told CNN in February. That being said, there has been more turnover at the Trump White House and Cabinet than any previous administration.

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