President Obama on Thursday kicked out 35 Russian spies out of the US, accusing them of hacking the presidential election on orders from Vladimir Putin.
Obama ordered 35 Russian intelligence operatives to leave the country as part of sanctions for Russia’s attempts to ‘interfere with democratic governance’.
Making a veiled reference to Putin, while announcing the sanction through a statement, the US President said the hacking was ‘ordered at the highest level’.
The action followed series of publication mostly by Wikileaks exposing Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s secrets, which came before Hillary Clinton’s election defeat.
The White House blamed Russia for the hacking and revelations as Clinton claimed Russia acted because of a ‘personal beef’ against her held by Putin himself.
The 35 operatives were declared ‘persona non grata’ in the US, a move which is likely to be followed by tit-for-tat action by the Kremlin.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denied the Obama administration’s accusation that the Russian government was involved at the highest levels in trying to influence the U.S. presidential election, saying ‘If Washington takes new hostile steps, it will receive an answer.’