In an extraordinary turn of events, President Barack Obama vowed retaliatory action against Russia for its meddling in the US presidential election, several news outlets reported Thursday night.
“I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections that we need to take action and we will at a time and place of our own choosing,” Obama told National Public Radio.
Describing potential countermeasures by the US, the President said: “some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be.”
According to CNN, the president directly confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin about a potential US response, and said his counterpart acknowledged his stance.
“Mr. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it,” Obama said.
Last week, the CIA released a report confirming that Russia interfered with the election system to help elect Donald Trump over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
At the time, the White House vowed a “strong response” to the cyberattacks, but declined to preview what that response might entail.
Officials have said US actions against Russia may not be revealed publicly and Press Secretary Josh Earnest declined to say whether the US had already begun its response to Moscow’s actions.
“The President determined once the intelligence community had reached this assessment that a proportional response was appropriate,” Earnest said. “At this point, I don’t have anything to say about whether or not that response has been carried out.”
President-elect Donald Trump declined calls for comments.