April 21 (UPI) — The Trump administration on Friday denied a waiver request by U.S. oil companies including Exxon Mobil to drill for oil in Russia while economic sanctions are in place.
The waiver request was necessary because the Treasury Department at the direction of former President Barack Obama ordered economic sanctions against Russia for its role supporting and ordering cyberattcks in an effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Multiple U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian state actors were behind cyberattacks against Democratic institutions and aides to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in a bid to sway the election to Trump.
Three ongoing investigations into Russia’s election meddling are underway, including the FBI, which has been investigating whether Trump or anyone from his campaign colluded with the Russians in the hacking scheme. The hacks resulted in a steady stream of embarrassing headlines for Democrats throughout the campaign.