WASHINGTON, Dec 30 : President-elect Donald Trump could reverse President Barack Obama's executive order and allow Russian intelligence officials back into the United States once he takes office, but that would be inadvisable, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.
There is no reason to believe Russia will cease interfering in U.S. and other countries' elections, Obama administration officials told reporters on a conference call after the president announced sanctions against Moscow.
"We believe these steps are important because Russia is not going to stop," one official said. "We have every indication that they will interfere in democratic elections in other countries, including some of our European allies," the official aid.
Meanwhile, US President-elect Donald Trump will meet intelligence officials next week "to be updated on the facts" after the Obama administration sanctioned Russian intelligence services, expelled 35 Russian officials and shuttered two Russian-owned compounds in the US.
"It's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. 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," Trump said.
Trump's vaguely worded statement, which did not mention Russia directly, came soon after the Obama Administration yesterday announced a series of punitive measures against alleged Russian hackings during the presidential elections. A top Trump adviser said that it is time to move on.
"He'll receive an intelligence briefing this coming week. And in the meantime, he believes it's time to move on," Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the president-elect, told CNN.
"I've been reading all the news reports about these retaliations, these sanctions put forward by President Obama and his administration. Some of them seem largely symbolic. The GRU doesn't travel here, doesn't keep its assets here. No reason allies will follow suit. We're yet to see all of the intelligence reports," she said. �REUTERS, PTI