Donald Trump’s top adviser Kellyanne Conway said she hopes President Obama’s sanctions on Russia aren’t politically motivated, or an attempt to “box in” the president-elect.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 30, 2016
From The Hill
The Obama administration’s sanctions and other punitive measures agains Russian intelligence groups were announced Thursday in response to Moscow’s cyberattacks against U.S. political groups aimed at interfering with the presidential election.
Conway suggested in a Fox interview Thursday evening that she hopes Obama’s sanctions weren’t an attempt to make Trump’s presidency more difficult.
“I was really disappointed to read in David Sanger’s New York Times piece this evening the allegation or supposition that perhaps one reason that these sanctions are taking place is to quote, ‘box in’ the president-elect, forcing him to take a position or otherwise once he takes office. I hope this isn’t motivated by politics even a little bit,” Conway said.
Conway was referring to a piece in The New York Times, which read:
“Taken together, the sweeping actions announced by the White House, the Treasury, the State Department and intelligence agencies on Thursday amount to the strongest American response yet to a state-sponsored cyberattack. They also appeared intended to box in President-elect Donald J. Trump, who will now have to decide whether to lift the sanctions on Russian intelligence agencies when he takes office next month.”
Trump issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying that he would “meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation.” He did not address the sanctions directly.
Conway suggested that until Trump receives an intelligence briefing next week, he still believes “it’s time to move on for bigger and better things for the country,” rather than discuss Russian hacking.
And she also reiterated the transition team’s dedication to not stepping on Obama’s toes by crafting policy while he remains in office.
The Obama administration announced Thursday that it would place sanctions on Russian intelligence organizations and individuals, expel 35 intelligence operatives from the country, and close down two facilities used by Russian officials.