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Obama expels Russian diplomats

(15 Posts)
SwearyGodmother Thu 29-Dec-16 19:37:14

Because of interference in the US election www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/29/obama-expels-35-russian-diplomats-election-hacking-row/ - no details yet but WTF? Is this not giving Trump and Putin a big red button stand off?

heyheyhey15 Thu 29-Dec-16 20:37:39

Scary stuff!

periwinklepickspoppies Thu 29-Dec-16 21:27:08

It's not going to end well.

prh47bridge Thu 29-Dec-16 23:29:00

Is this not giving Trump and Putin a big red button stand off?

No. This is hardly the first time the USA has expelled Russian diplomats, nor is it the biggest expulsion. Obama expelled 2 Russian diplomats in July. George W Bush expelled 50 Russian diplomats in 2001 over the Robert Hanssen spying case. Indeed, countries expelling each other's diplomats happens a lot without the countries going to war, or even going to the brink of war. It heightens the tension between the USA and Russia a little but it is a long way short of a red button stand off.

Given the evidence of Russia's attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential election this action is entirely understandable and, in my view, justified. History tells us that appeasing people like Putin always ends badly. He needs to know that he cannot do whatever he wants.

Unfortunately Trump does not want to accept the evidence of Russian interference and his statements about Putin so far suggest he is more inclined to appease (although a recent tweet suggests a possible change of heart). That is far more worrying than Obama expelling 35 diplomats.

Lweji Fri 30-Dec-16 17:29:59

He did warn them there would be consequences.

The US can't stand to interference in the elections and blatant hacking of their own main parties and do nothing at all.
Expelling diplomats is for the most part an empty gesture, and the minimum they could do.

I see that Putin threatened the same but is now saying he won't bother.

If there was indeed interference, it would be interesting if they did the same as in Austria and repeat the election. But it's not likely.

lljkk Fri 30-Dec-16 17:39:18

This type of stuff happens periodically. Usually, there are tit for tat sanctions for a spell, then everything settles down & slowly creeps back to better relations. This time it really means not much b/c Putin's lapdog soon becomes POTUS. Maybe Russians will say it's just Obama's last desperate attempt to have any legacy & they plan to completely ignore the whole spectacle.

Presumably the evidence to prove hacking & distributing the Democratic party emails is in the security briefings that Trump finds too boring to attend.

Redrocketship Fri 30-Dec-16 17:42:22

Putin has said he won't take any action and has even extended an invitation to US diplomats in Russia to Christmas and New Years celebrations at the Kremlin.

Has any definitive proof actually been released re the Russians hacking the US election?

Lweji Fri 30-Dec-16 17:51:16

Not in the news. But it could be classified. The type that would reveal capabilities that the US doesn't want public or agents.
I don't think they'll ever find evidence of the type that would hold in court.

prh47bridge Fri 30-Dec-16 18:27:47

There is a report on it here. My friends in the cyber security arena (I used to work for a well known supplier of PC security products) are unanimous that there is clear proof of Russian involvement in attempts to influence the election. It isn't just hacking. There were fake news sites, for example, that pumped out "news" stories that were helpful to Trump. Trump himself quoted some of these fake news stories. There is clear evidence that many of these sites were operated by Russia.

Lweji Fri 30-Dec-16 19:03:03

Directly by the Russian government?

prh47bridge Sat 31-Dec-16 00:13:30

Yes. There is clear evidence that the attempts to influence the election along with ongoing attacks on political organisations in the USA are being carried out by entities connected to and controlled by the Russian government. Some people think there are holes in the evidence but my friends in the cyber security community think the evidence they have gathered (working completely independently of US intelligence) is conclusive.

Redrocketship Sat 31-Dec-16 00:56:08

I thought it was wiki leaks who released the emails? Since when are they linked with Russia? Plus the guy who took responsibility for the hack is in prison and not affiliated with the Russians.

Before the election, literally only 2 months ago, Obama said that it was impossible for anyone to "hack" and influence the election.

What about the information that the leaks revealed? That Hillary and the dnc were corrupt. No one is talking about that.

Not a trump supporter btw. Just think this whole thing plus the whole "fake news" push going on now stinks.

Redrocketship Sat 31-Dec-16 00:59:22

Oh sorry, just checked and it's the original guccifer who is in jail. The hacker responsible for these leaks calls themselves guccifer 2.0.

prh47bridge Sat 31-Dec-16 02:04:09

The hackers who supplied the emails to WikiLeaks appear to be linked with the Russian government. Guccifer 2.0 was definitely supplied with information by Russian state-sponsored hacking groups and is almost certainly a creation of those groups. Guccifer 2.0 states that he is a lone individual, that he is Romanian and that he cannot read Russian. However, metadata attached to emails sent by Guccifer 2.0 show that a Russian-language-only VPN is being used and, when pressed to use Romanian in an interview, the grammar and terminology used indicate that Guccifer 2.0 is not a native Romanian speaker. There are also other technical indications that Guccifer 2.0 is actually a creation of Russian state-sponsored hacking groups. And there was lots of other stuff - fake news stories that were believed by those inclined to support Trump and which shifted votes. I am not saying that Russia won it for Trump and it is highly unlikely that they hacked voting machines to give false results as, although security on the machines is poor, they are not connected to the internet which makes hacking difficult. However, Russia certainly attempted to influence the election against Clinton.

I do not recollect Obama saying it was impossible for anyone to hack and influence the election. Two months ago the Obama administration was already accusing Russia of hacking US political organisations, attempting to access voter registration databases and so on. It is true that some officials said that it was virtually impossible for Russia to influence the outcome. Their statements were a little optimistic and, in any case, referred to Russia directly changing the result so that the vote totals were incorrect. It is clearly possible for Russia to engage in a propaganda campaign to try to influence the result. And, with a large number of Trump supporters not believing mainstream media but lapping up "news" from other sources, their efforts may have been successful to some extent.

Lweji Sat 31-Dec-16 08:43:29

IIRC, what Obama said was that local officials feom both parties controlled the booths and the votes, so the DNC wouldn't be able to rig the election, as Trump had repeatedly accused.

Ultimately, the main influence was the FBI director, though.
But it was interesting that only Hillary related emails were leaked (and they were hyped, as there wasn't that much to them) and none from the RNC. I'd really have loved to see them. They'd probably make Hillary's look like she was a saint by comparison. But, who knows? We never got to see them. Nor the missing ones from the Bush administration. Nor Trump's tax returns.

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