- The Washington Times - Friday, December 30, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump on Friday hailed Russian President Vladimir Putin as “very smart” for not retaliating against a new round of U.S. sanctions against the former Cold War foe.

“Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!” tweeted Mr. Trump, who weathered unrelenting criticism during the campaign for heaping praise on Mr. Putin.

The tweet suggested that Mr. Trump, who made his deal-making skills a chief argument for his presidential run, will be open to negotiating with Russia over the status of the sanctions once he takes office Jan. 20.

Mr. Putin condemned the new round of sanctions President Obama imposed against Russia for allegedly using computer hacking to interfere with the U.S. presidential election. But the Russian president said he would not retaliate.

Mr. Obama hit Russia with sanctions that included expelling 35 Russian intelligence agents and closing two Russian compounds in the U.S. The parting shot at Russia was the latest rift between Mr. Obama and Mr. Trump, who urged the administration to move on from the hacking allegations.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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