Report: White House prepares to announce sanctions against Russia as punishment for election interference

The White House is preparing to announce diplomatic censure and economic sanctions against Russia as punishment for its alleged interference in the 2016 election, reports the Washington Post.

That information comes from unnamed government officials who spoke with the media outlet.

According to those individuals, the Obama administration is assessing the allowances and limitations set forth in the 2015 executive order regarding cyber attacks against the United States.

See more on the White House:

The best moments and photos from President Obama's last year
See Gallery
The best moments and photos from President Obama's last year

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill January 12, 2016 in Washington, D.C. In his final State of the Union, President Obama reflected on the past seven years in office and spoke on topics including climate change, gun control, immigration and income inequality.

(Photo by Evan Vucci - Pool/Getty Images)

Cuban President Raul Castro (R) raises US President Barack Obama's hand during a joint press conference at the Revolution Palace in Havana on March 21, 2016. Cuba's Communist President Raul Castro on Monday stood next to Barack Obama and hailed his opposition to a long-standing economic 'blockade,' but said it would need to end before ties are fully normalized.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama touches the coffin of former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres after speaking during his funeral at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery on September 30, 2016.

(ABIR SULTAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama arrives to speak during a closing session at the Nuclear Security Summit April 1, 2016 in Washington, D.C. After a spate of terrorist attacks from Europe to Africa, Obama is rallying international support during the summit for an effort to keep Islamic State and similar groups from obtaining nuclear material and other weapons of mass destruction.

(Photo By Andrew Harrer/Pool/Getty Images)

First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. President Barack Obama wait for leaders to arrive for the Nordic state dinner on the North Portico at the White House, May 13, 2016, in Washington, DC. Leaders from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland were invited to the White House for the U.S.-Nordic leaders summit.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama wears a traditional blanket and hat given to him during the 2016 White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC, September 26, 2016.

(SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama arrives with US first lady Michelle Obama to speak during a reception to mark Black History Month in the East Room of the White House February 18, 2016 in Washington, DC.


US President Barack Obama holds a baby during a State Arrival ceremony for Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, August 2, 2016.

(SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton hugs U.S. President Barack Obama as she arrives onstage at the end of his speech on the third night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jim Young)

U.S. President Barack Obama drinks a glass of filtered water from Flint, a city struggling with the effects of lead-poisoned drinking water, as he delivers remarks at North Western, in Flint, Michigan May 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks to the 2016 graduating class at High Point Solutions Stadium during Rutgers University's 250th commencement exercises, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, May 15, 2016.

(REUTERS/Mike Theiler)

U.S. President Barack Obama blows bubbles during the 2016 White House Science Fair in Washington, April 13, 2016. The bubble maker was made on a 3D printer by Jacob Leggette, 9, of Baltimore, Maryland.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Barack Obama gestures during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, November 17, 2016.

(REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

U.S. President Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L) in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., November 22, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

U.S. President Barack Obama congratulates his daughter Malia on her birthday during the Independence Day celebration at the White House in Washington U.S., July 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) hugs with atomic bomb survivor Shigeaki Mori as he visits Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan May 27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama serve Thanksgiving dinner to residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) in Washington, U.S., November 23, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Malia Obama's hair flies into the air as a cold wind hits her and U.S. President Barack Obama while descending the steps of Air Force One upon their arrival at O'Hare Airport in Chicago April 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

First lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama perform a reading of the children's book "Where the Wild Things Are" for children gathered for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, March 28, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

US President Barack Obama and Republican President-elect Donald Trump shake hands during a transition planning meeting in the Oval Office at the White House on November 10, 2016 in Washington,DC.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama speaks as he attends a campaign rally in support of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the University of Central Florida on October 28, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Election day for the presidential candidates is 10 days away.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Cuban President Raul Castro talk before the start of an exhibition game between the Cuban national team and the Major League Baseball team Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the Estado Latinoamericano March 22, 2016 in Havana, Cuba. This is the first time a sitting president has visited Cuba in 88 years.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, September 5, 2016.

(Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin/via REUTERS)

(L-R) Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama shake hands while posing for the family photo at the North American Leaders' Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 29, 2016.

(REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

With tears running down his cheeks, U.S. President Barack Obama talks about the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and about his efforts to increase federal gun control in the East Room of the White House January 5, 2016 in Washington, DC. Without approval from Congress, Obama is sidestepping the legislative process with executive actions to expand background checks for some firearm purchases and step up federal enforcement of existing gun laws.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama reacts after pardoning the National Thanksgiving turkey during the 69th annual presentation of the turkey in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S. November 23, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

U.S. President Barack Obama greets supporters at a rally for Hillary Clinton's campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada October 23, 2016.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

US President Barack Obama votes early at the Cook County Office Building in Chicago, Illinois, October 7, 2016. Obama cast an early ballot on Friday, highlighting a Democratic drive to get voters to the polls even before November 8. During an unannounced visit, Obama stood before a voting machine at the Chicago Board of Elections office, punched in his choice and smirked when asked who he had voted for.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama plays with a baby after speaking at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, November 4, 2016, during a Hillary for America campaign event.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Lawmakers watch as US President Barack Obama signs H.R. 2576, the 'Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act at the White House campus June 22, 2016 in Washington, DC.


U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the National Park Service at Yosemite National Park, California, U.S., June 18, 2016.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

U.S. President Barack Obama tries virtual reality glasses and he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel tour Hanover Messe Trade Fair in Hanover, Germany April 25, 2016.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden (L) enter the Oval Office after Obama spoke about the election results that saw Donald Trump become President-elect from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Barack Obama hugs his wife Michelle as Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife Jill look on after the President delivered a farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/John Gress)

U.S. President Barack Obama says "Obama out!" at the White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)


Election interference is not specifically stated as an activity that warrants punishment, but it appears there are possible paths for further action.

One is to amend the order.

Another involves the more challenging task of classifying Russia's act as damage to "critical infrastructure or the theft of commercial secrets."

In regards to that option, a senior official said to the Post, "You would (a) have to be able to say that the actual electoral infrastructure, such as state databases, was critical infrastructure, and (b) that what the Russians did actually harmed it. Those are two high bars."

CBS News reports that in his final year-end press conference, which was held on December 16, President Obama addressed the importance of ensuring that Russia be held accountable for its actions in a way that prevents future cyber attacks.

He also noted, "My hope is that the president-elect is going to be similarly concerned that we aren't going to have foreign interference in our election process."

That comment came one day after Donald Trumptweeted, "If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?"

RELATED: Russia's involvement with the election

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.