Trump Calls Putin's Response to US Sanctions 'Great Move,' Says He's 'Very Smart'

Trump's tweet marks a stark departure from concerned members in his own party.

ByAlexander Mallin
December 30, 2016, 3:06 PM

— -- President-elect Donald Trump made a stark departure from members of his own party Thursday by praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for his response to U.S. sanctions against the country.

Trump hailed Putin's decision not to respond to the Obama administration's measures -- meant to counter cyberattacks against the U.S. government and Democratic officials -- as a "great move," adding, "I always knew he was very smart!"

Trump 'pinned' the tweet to remain at the top of his Twitter feed and even received an approving retweet from the Russian Embassy in the United States' Twitter account.

The tweet follows a two-sentence statement Thursday night reacting to the sanctions, where Trump repeated his call for the country to "move on" while agreeing to meet with intelligence agencies next week for a full briefing.

Trump's transition team has not responded to ABC News request for comment on why the president-elect has not already requested a briefing on the Russian cyberattacks, as the team claims he's receiving at least three classified presidential briefings per week.

The tweet is just the latest thread in a mostly-muted response from Trump to President Obama's punishments against Russian cyberattacks, which included expelling 35 Russian intelligence operatives and sanctioning five Russian entities and four individuals for an alleged cyberassault on Democratic political organizations during the 2016 presidential campaign.

It also puts him squarely at odds with top members from his own party, who have described the Obama actions as "overdue" but also "appropriate," with several members vowing to craft even tougher sanctions through Congress following a thorough investigation.

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