Trump splits with congressional Republicans, saying it’s time to “move on” in response to sanctions

US President-elect Donald Trump waves to the media at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
US President-elect Donald Trump waves to the media at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)



President-elect Donald Trump has responded to news that the United States will be imposing sanctions on Russia in addition to expelling 35 Russian diplomats and closing two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland as punishment for the country’s election-related hacking.

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"It's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things," Trump said in a statement. "Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation."

According to an anonymous U.S. official, the Russian diplomats will have 72 hours to leave the United States, and access to the two compounds by Russian officials will be denied by noon on Friday. The action comes in response to the Russian harassment of American diplomats in Moscow.

As for the sanctions, the Obama administration announced on Thursday that it would introduce a slate of economic sanctions against Russia in a modified 2015 executive order aimed to "address the national emergency with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities."

"All Americans should be alarmed by Russia's actions," President Obama said, adding that the hacks "could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government."

The changes to the executive order give the president the authority to sanction individuals and entities “responsible for tampering, altering, or causing the misappropriation of information with the purpose or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes or institutions,” while it only previously allowed the Treasury Department to freeze the assets of individuals or entities that damaged U.S. infrastructure or took part in economic espionage via digital means.

Trump's response comes just one day after dismissing Obama's threat to impose sanctions on Russia, saying, "I think we ought to get on with our lives." His reaction differs from those within his own party, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who called the sanctions long "overdue."