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Trump hits snooze button on Obama’s Russia hacking ‘alarm’

Although President Barack Obama announced sanctions Thursday in

Although President Barack Obama announced sanctions Thursday in response to Russians hacking the U.S. presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump continues to praise Russian leader Vladimir Putin, seen on Dec. 27, 2016. Credit: EPA / Alexei Druzhinin / Sputnik / Kremlin Pool

Trump: Let’s ‘move on’

When candidate Donald Trump went on the attack with various dark theories, he said America needed to find out “What the hell is going on.”

His curiosity seems more restrained after President Barack Obama, announcing sanctions against Russia Thursday for the cyberhacking of Trump’s election foes, said Americans should be “alarmed” by the interference with U.S. democracy.

“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.”

Trump’s postelection comments have pivoted between skepticism and indifference over investigators’ implicit conclusions that Russia sought to tilt the election in his favor.

The president-elect has called for friendlier ties with Moscow and expressed admiration of Vladimir Putin’s prowess as a leader. Russian officials and commentators sounded hopeful that Trump may roll back the sanctions after taking office.

But with Republican leaders in Congress also saying Russia deserves punishment, Trump will at least go through the motions of weighing the evidence and his response.

Latino wanted for Cabinet

Trump and his transition team have intensified their search for a Hispanic official to serve in his Cabinet, Politico reports.

The few remaining openings include Agriculture secretary, Veterans Affairs secretary and U.S. trade representative. Trump antagonized many Latinos during his campaign with his remarks about Mexicans and his stand on immigration.

Trump’s war powers

Congress failed during Obama’s second term to pass a formal authorization for the war against the Islamic State, which would have both signaled resolve and provided a check on the next president’s war powers.

As a result, there will be no congressionally defined limits on Trump’s ability to choose how to wage the war on terror, Politico reports. Some Democrats worry that Trump could put his most radical campaign rhetoric into action, such as vows to use torture and kill families of terrorists.

What else is happening

  • Trump met Thursday with top aides, including Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Reince Priebus and Kellyanne Conway, to plan his Jan. 20 inauguration ceremony and speech, Newsday’s Emily Ngo reports.
  • A surge in marriage licenses since Election Day may be fueled in part by immigrants fearing an increased risk of deportation, The New York Times reported.
  • Billionaire Democratic donor George Soros wrote that Trump is “a would-be dictator,” but “I am confident that democracy will prove resilient in the U.S.”
  • Expert opinion is mixed on whether Trump deserves any of the credit he claims for postelection signs of strength in the economy, ABC News says.
  • Various lawsuits involving Trump will likely remain on court dockets after his inauguration. CNN has a rundown.

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