President Barack Obama has expelled 35 Russian diplomats in the US that the administration believes are spying. This is a response to Russian hacking of the Democratic National Convention and Russia’s apparently successful attempt to get Donald Trump elected.
But Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided not to expel any American officials from Russia. This is clearly because Trump will soon become president and the incoming administration is friendly to Russia. Putin has praised Trump and wants a better relationship with the US.
The Trump team has consistently denied that Russia is behind the hacking, criticized the intelligence agencies who claim Russia was trying to influence the election and insisted that the country needs to ‘move on’. Trump seems to want to ignore the effects of hacking on his election victory.
“It is time for our country to move on to bigger and better things,” Trump’s presidential transition team said in a statement. “Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with members of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of the situation.”
This is another clear attempt to downplay Russian involvement in the election. If Trump is meeting with intelligence chiefs, it is unclear if he will listen to them. Trump has embraced his own version of facts on DNC hacking and took the unprecedented step of attacking the CIA.