Trump signed a bill raining harsher sanctions on Russia in part for its meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
Trump signed a bill raining harsher sanctions on Russia in part for its meddling in the U.S. presidential election.

Just two days after Russian President Vladmir Putin sent 755 members of the U.S. diplomatic staff packing in retaliation for Congress-approved sanctions against Russia – enacted partly over the Kremlin's hacking campaign during the U.S. election – President Donald Trump signed the sanctions bill into law.  

Trump has long contended that others could have orchestrated hacks against the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic organizations and election systems, even as the U.S. intelligence community has laid the blame on Russia. But last Thursday a veto-proof majority in Congress passed the legislation, which levies harsher sanctions on the country and eliminates the president's ability to lift them unless Congress agrees.

Former President Barack Obama already had closed Russia's diplomatic properties in Maryland and New York and sent staff packing in 2016 as part of an initial, wide-ranging response to the nation-state's meddling in the election in an effort to exert influence.