On Thursday, President Barack Obama announced a series of sanctions that will be placed on Russia for its alleged involvement in the 2016 US Election. Obama also removed 35 Russian diplomats, accusing them of being spies.
Putin decided to respond by not removing US diplomats, saying he would rather work with the Trump administration to solve the issue.
Trump responded in a tweet: “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!”
The tweet was re-tweeted by the Russian Embassy in the US, and has gone viral on the internet.
Both Trump and Russia have denied the accusations, with Putin saying that if it were true, the US should provide evidence instead of making false allegations.
On Thursday, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provided technical details about the tools and cyber infrastructure they said Russian civilian and military intelligence services used for the hack attack, code named Grizzly Steppe.
US intelligence services believe Russia ordered cyber-attacks on the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and other political organisations, in an attempt to influence the election in favour of Trump. Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, has been at the centre of the accusations.
Edward Snowden, who now lives in Russia, wrote on Twitter that the evidence against the country released so far was insufficiently persuasive and called on US authorities to release more.