President Obama decidedly escalated the dispute with Russia over interference in the 2016 presidential election on Thursday evening when, during an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, the president vowed to retaliate against Russia, but gave no specifics about what such a maneuver might look like.
"I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections, that we need to take action and we will — at a time and place of our own choosing. Some of it may be explicit and publicized, some of it may not be. But Mr. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this because I spoke to him directly about it."
In the NPR interview that will air in its entirety Friday morning on Morning Edition, Obama stopped short of confirming the motivations of the Russian hack as an attempt to put Donald Trump in office although he did note that the handwriting was on the wall when it came to which candidate, and party, appeared to be favored by the release of Russian hacked emails.
"There are still a whole range of assessments taking place among the agencies," Obama told NPR, referring to an order he has given the U.S. intelligence community to conduct a full review of the cyber-attacks before Inauguration Day. "And so when I receive a final report, you know, we'll be able to, I think, give us a comprehensive and best guess as to those motivations. But that does not in any way, I think, detract from the basic point that everyone during the election perceived accurately – that in fact what the Russian hack had done was create more problems for the Clinton campaign than it had for the Trump campaign."